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Horsetails

Equisetum arvense

April 21,1998 Carol wrote: Hi. I live in Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada, about 2 hours from either Detroit or Buffalo. I have a weed in my gardening that's overtaking everything. It's called, "Hippurus Vulgarus" a.k.a. horsetail, horseweed, or marestail. Please help. Carol
Horsetail
Equisetum arvense
A Horsetail Weed, Equisetum arvense

The extensive root system of horsetail (Equisetum arvense) makes controlling it very difficult prospect. Landscape fabrics or black plastic mulch can effectively prevent horsetail growth. Few herbicides are capable of killing off these weeds. Casoron (dichlobenil) can be used but it's safe use is dependent on the situation in which horsetail grows. (It should NOT be used in an area which also produces food crops) Before you use any herbicide READ THE LABEL to ensure it is registered to use for your situation. Follow label directions! Be aware that if you try to remove the horsetails by digging or cultivating, you may be doing nothing more than propagating new plants. Any portion of the rhizomes left in the soil will regenerate! It may be an old wives tail, and I have not tried it, but I've been told that a tea made from dried horsetail leaves is useful to control slugs!