Don’t be saddled with Mare’s Tail weeds
Lockdown continues, but it’s there to keep us all safe and well, so let’s make the best of it in our gardens.
A good way of beating any boredom you may be feeling and to keep active and get some fresh air is by getting out into your garden. Here are some handy hints from our gardening expert, George Irvine. Here’s what he’s saying this week:
If you have noticed something which resembles small Christmas trees growing in your beds, borders and even vegetable patches over the past week or two, it will most certainly be Mare’s Tail – also known as Horsetail.
This common weed is difficult to get rid of and is very invasive and if left unattended, will soon take over most of the garden.
Mare’s Tail has a thick silica-rich outer layer with small needle-like green leaves. Its roots have horizontally growing rhizomes off-shooting several feet underground before they resurface and grow as a new plant.
Because of it’s thick silica-rich stems, which are almost waterproof, most weed-killers have little effect on it.
In days of yore gardeners often bashed the weed with a heavy piece of wood to break the surface of the stems before applying a strong weed-killer with added wallpaper paste, which they then used a glove to coat over the bashed stems
Although a somewhat tedious task, pulling the weeds up from the soil will, if done over a long period gradually weaken the growth.
That said, when hand pulling each weed you rarely get the whole long root out and it breaks under the soil. This leads to another root forming and so the problem is multiplied.
There is a weedkiller called SBK, which is perfect for home use as it is available both already mixed and concentrated, for large areas. We have plentiful stocks available from Cardwell Garden Centre.
This systemic weedkiller will work its way through the entire weed, killing leaves, stems and roots.
As you should with all weedkillers, please follow the instructions carefully and take all the recommended precautions when using.
Using SBK on mare’s tail and other tough weeds is effective, but you need to be patient as more than one treatment will be required.
Take advantage of the good weather and spend time in your garden, weeding and preparing for the coming bedding plant season.
And, of course, relaxing. Take care.