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Mares Tail help

(11 Posts)
FriedSprout Mon 03-Aug-15 21:34:08

Hope someone can help.

I help an elderly chap with his garden. He has a deep 3m border which only has a couple of shrubs and an apple trees in it.

Every time I help out I spend most of my time digging over this border in order to try and keep mares tail under control - ha!

His son has offered to put a weed suppressant membrane down and cover it with gravel. Would this work and enable me to attempt the rest of the wilderness Garden?

The rest of the garden is mainly crazy paving surrounding a few beds, all of which has been infested by mares tail and brambles. I intend ripping mares tail out by hand and just trying to keep that under some kind of control confused

I'd like to get his garden under some kind of control for him - he lost his wife a couple of years ago and the garden was her pride and joy. It upsets him to see it gone to seed.


echt Tue 04-Aug-15 05:15:57

It's a long road:

Kill it

Eat it

I would love to grow it as an aquatic plant, but there's an Australia-wide APB on it.grin

Good luck.

FriedSprout Tue 04-Aug-15 09:16:03

Thank you for links Echt, eating it! Who knew grin

Reading through, think I am doing as much as I can without using heavy duty weed killer (or getting fat)

Know what you mean about wanting it as a pond plant. It is very pretty, just very keen grin

NanTheWiser Tue 04-Aug-15 18:19:39

You'll never get rid of it - I've lived in my house for over 20 years, and have battled with mare's tail for all that time. Now, I simply pull up what I can - which is constantly during the summer - it reappears very quickly. If it is in a place where it is convenient to do so (not amongst other plants), you can try spraying with heavy-duty weed killer after bruising the foliage, but even that doesn't always work!
I had my front garden block paved 3 years ago, which was also infested, and it was covered in membrane before being paved, the blasted plant is still coming through! It's a losing battle, I think...

AnOddOod Tue 04-Aug-15 18:36:44

E had it covered in black plastic on the allotment for 2 years. It didn't come through but was still alive after.

FriedSprout Tue 04-Aug-15 21:56:57

Thank you all. It does sound like a life-long battle to be honest.

Think heavy duty membrane with thick layer of gravel on border area, and pick any as it appears around rest of garden.

To be honest, he's a lovely chap and grateful for any help offered.

I shall commence battle tomorrow, but will probably lose the war grin

wowfudge Tue 04-Aug-15 22:05:28

Kurtail is a weed killer that does kill it. Best to leave it when it looks dead for as long as possible to get further down the plant and the rhizome system. It still only controls it rather than eradicating unless you don't care about other plants in your garden.

My NDN had tried covering it and all sorts of natural methods with no success.

My mum calls it a 'bomb site' plant - it can thrive in terrible conditions.

bowsaw Wed 05-Aug-15 10:26:32

its a plant from the time of the dinosaurs,

It take a lot to defeat and some actions can make it worse, so read up on your foe. As well as any herbicides you use

It also has silicates in the stem so dont pull out by hand, wear gloves for protection, or you will feel like you just re-glassed your loft cavity

slicedfinger Wed 05-Aug-15 10:30:11

I remember reading an article in Garden Organic years ago that did a long term test on the various ways to get rid of it. The conclusion was to just keep pulling them up, getting as much of the root as possible. Eventually it started having some effect. But as pp said, you may have to do it for years. DM had it in her garden and fought a losing battle.

SonT Mon 10-Aug-15 15:29:01

what you need is some -ahem - compost accelerator like this.

Should you accidentally miss the compost bin with it, it will kill horsetail (and everything else).

AnOddOod Mon 10-Aug-15 18:35:11

Our chickens are d

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