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What type of weed is this?

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What type of weed is this?

Postby Sarah-eco » Jul 05, 2014 3:08 pm

This weed is growing very quickly. Does anyone know what it is and how best to treat (remove) it? Are there safe, eco-friendly methods for removing or sprays that would work? Thank you :)

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Re: What type of weed is this?

Postby MountainDad » Jul 05, 2014 3:22 pm

Kind of looks like horsetail. Look it up, maybe you can do a more in depth comparison.
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Re: What type of weed is this?

Postby Ian66 » Jul 06, 2014 6:41 am

It is horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

Round up or other chemicals will not eliminate it....
It has a very long, thin root system that goes down several feet...so digging it is difficult...
Best way to get rid of it is to cover the area (if possible) with landscape cloth or cardboard to smother it......
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Re: What type of weed is this?

Postby StephenW-G » Jul 15, 2014 9:28 pm

Just an addendum to Ian 66's excellent post:
If the horsetail arrived with a load of recently purchased topsoil, you may have a case for having it removed by whomever supplied the topsoil/triple mix, etc. And if it isn't well established, then you have a fairly good chance of eradicating it.

If it's already growing in your garden, and smothering doesn't work or isn't practical, then you will probably have to content yourself with pulling out everything that appears above the soil surface, but you will never successfully starve out the root system (as you can do with many weeds). So it will be an ongoing project. As well, attempting to dig up the roots (which can easily sink down more than one metre) isn't helpful, as every bit of broken root will sprout an new plant.

Horsetails--like ferns--have been around since the dinosaurs, and they reproduce by spores (like ferns) as well as by their aggressive rhizomes. They're native to the entire Northern Hemisphere, including Arctic regions.

In spite of not wishing them on my worst enemy, there are certainly plenty of much uglier "weeds" (or rather, native perennials ;)) so you may even decide that you can live with them. They're attractive in a prehistoric sort of way, and their naturally abrasive "foliage" make good pot-scrubbers, as any hard-core camper will tell you. They also tend to suppress other weeds, so you get a fairly uniform look.

The species Equisteum hyemale (Zone 3) and E. scirpoides (dwarf horsetail, Zone 5) are sometimes used as marginal plants in ponds.

But most importantly: Horsetail contains a substance which destroys vitamin B in animals. It is especially poisonous to young horses, but obviously, isn't good for dogs and cats either!
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