Unfortunately, due to the lack of attention by the previous occupants of our house, it had taken hold of a large bed of densely planted shrubs so we didn't discover it until last October when we decided to make a few changes. It was so extensive that we cleared the bed completely and Mr Nell has been spraying the mares tail every day for the last few weeks and does, fingers crossed, seem to be winning. We aren't going to risk replanting anything this year until we're sure it's gone.
May yet resort to Agent Orange though.....
Don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to.
Mine started when next door had all his garden dug up and it must have been in his new top soil or turf and in the last two years its rampaged across the whole garden, I wish I'd realised what it was the first year and I might have been able to keep it in check
People who are wrong are just as sure they're right as people who are right, the only difference is they're wrong
Good luck you two, it's not easy to get rid of! Agent Orange sounds the way to go lol!
The problem The creeping rhizomes of this pernicious plant may go down as deep as 2m (7ft) below the surface, making them hard to remove by digging out, especially if they invade a border. They often enter gardens by spreading underground from neighbouring properties or land.
Control Non-chemical controls Removing horsetail by hand is difficult. Although rhizomes growing near the surface can be forked out, deeper roots will require a lot of excavation. Shallow, occasional weeding is not effective and can make the problem worse, as the plant can regrow from any small pieces left behind. However, removing shoots as soon as they appear above the ground can reduce infestation if carried out over a number of years.
If horsetail appears in lawns, it can be kept in check by mowing regularly.
Chemical controls Infestations of horsetail can be weakened with weedkiller.
On vacant soil, where there are no herbaceous perennials, bulbs or crops, you can use Bayer Garden Path & Drive Weedkiller and Scotts Weedol Pathclear products containing glyphosate/diflufenican to inhibit new shoots Tough weedkillers containing glyphosate (e.g. Scotts Roundup Tree Stump & Rootkiller, Bayer Garden Rootkill, Bayer Garden Super Strength Weedkiller, Doff Maxi Strength Glyphosate Weedkiller or Westland Resolva Xtra Tough Concentrate or for spot treatment use Scotts Roundup Gel) can be applied in late summer when growth is strong. Before using, bruise the shoots with a rake to ensure effective penetration
Remember: horsetail is persistent, and several applications – possibly over a number of years – may be necessary to completely eradicate the problem.
I had to Google mare's tail but definitely haven't got any here, thank goodness.
The garden was bare when I moved in and so I had seed cover put down which means I get very few weeds. The only persistent ones were buttercups which squeezed through the slits I'd made in the cover when planting shrubs etc. After 8 years, the raised flower beds are now full of plants and even the buttercups are getting 'drowned out.' In fact, I've got 12 plug plants which are happily growing in pots but I've no idea where they're going to go in the beds because I'm virtually out of space now.