The horsetail weed family encompasses over 30 species of ancient plants. Besides taking over your lawn or garden overnight, the hardy weed is also exceedingly toxic to livestock, including horses, if consumed in sufficient quantities.
Horsetail thrives in ditches, ponds, fields, and roadsides, besides your grass or garden. The hardy plant has fast-growing underground rhizomes and upright fir tree-like shoots that emerge in the summer.
Horsetail weed has beautiful feathery foliage and can add a dreamy aspect to your landscape. Still, its creeping underground rhizomes can soon become a significant problem when they grow underground roots up to seven feet deep beneath your lawn. This flowerless perennial plant may invade garden borders by spreading underground through the neighbors’ land and taking over from other plants. (Learn How To Kill Pond Weeds)
In our guide, you can learn more about getting rid of this invasive horsetail weed. By the end, you’ll know enough ways to maintain lawn health and get rid of this flowerless weed and other pesky weeds at the same time.
How to Get Rid of Horsetail Weeds?
Getting rid of horsetail weed from your lawn or garden is arduous. Unfortunately, there is no specific horsetail weed killer on the market, and most chemical weed killers aren’t very successful in killing horsetail.
In addition, Horsetail weed is difficult to remove by hand using conventional weeding tools, but you can use a fork to remove new horsetail shoots growing near the surface.
However, since horsetail grows so deep, the deeper roots will need plenty of digging.
Remember, hand-pulling horsetail only removes the sparse foliage on the surface and possibly a portion of the roots, not the full weed that grows deep below the surface.
You can only control horsetail weeds by cutting them with a grass whip or weedeater and remembering to mow lawns regularly.
Mowing your lawn regularly is a fantastic strategy to control new shoot growth and keep horse tail growth at bay, but it will not eliminate the problem.
Before we get into the options for killing horsetail weed, the horsetail plant, like purslane weeds, is quite persistent, so it could take up to 5 years or more to extinguish the problem.
Use Dolomite Lime to Kill Horsetail Weed
Spreading dolomite lime around your lawn can help deter horsetail plants and other weeds, although it isn’t one of the most efficient weed killers.
Dolomite lime for lawns is available online or at your local hardware or garden center.
To get rid of horsetail, use it at the recommended rate on the package, where you apply dolomite lime at a rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet to kill horsetail in acidic soils and clay soils. (Learn How To Dry Wet Soil Fast)
But, before you use this solution to kill horsetail weed while leaving your other plants alone, you need first to improve soil conditions.
Fill depressions in the soil that could collect water and improve your garden drainage in poorly drained areas. Just avoid redirecting water to your neighbor’s garden or any local storm drains.
You’ll find that horsetail thrives in acidic, poorly drained soils, so improving soil conditions makes your yard area less suited for horsetail growth.
To avoid spreading horsetail to other lawn parts, remove any mulch from the soil and make it.
You can apply fertilizer, synthetic fertilizers, fish emulsion fertilizer, compost, or aged manure to the top two-inch soil layers.
Horsetail weed can be effectively eradicated using dolomite lime. Apply the instructions on the label when applying dolomite lime to the soil.
Depending on your soil type, you may need to change the amount of dolomite lime. For example, dolomite lime is required in large amounts in clay soils.
After incorporating dolomite lime into the soil using a rake or a shovel, thoroughly water the area. To eradicate Horsetail, repeat this process once or twice a year for up to five years.
Use Acetic Acid to Kill Horsetail Weed
Because weed killers and herbicides cannot kill horsetail weed, you can use a horticultural vinegar-based herbicide to kill Equisetum arvense, also known as horsetail weed.
Weed B Gone, according to experts, is one of the effective weed killers for killing horsetail weed.
If you observe horsetail growing back, you’ll need to carry on applying weed killer until it finally dies.
Remember, acetic acid is vinegar, and too many acts as a non-selective herbicide. It could change the pH of your garden area to become acidic soil, and while killing weeds, it could harm desirable plants in the vicinity.
Cutting Off Nutrients
Horse’s tail are commonly found in low-oxygen, low-light environments; thus, blocking its leaves from being exposed to the sun is a temporary strategy to get rid of this pesky weed.
Horsetail weed roots penetrate deep into the ground and make large root networks, allowing them to erupt through unprotected places eventually.
So, while covering the affected areas may provide temporary relief from horsetail for a season, fresh growth will emerge the following season.
Killing Horsetail with Bleach
Bleach isn’t a weed killer, and while it may kill other plants, it won’t kill all the horsetail plants around your garden. Unfortunately, many gardeners mix bleach and salt to get rid of weeds to make their cheap weed killer.
Killing Horsetail with Vinegar
Horsetail cannot be effectively eradicated with vinegar. Even after spraying the entire Horsetail plant with Vinegar, it continues to come back.
Spraying it more than once, according to some, is effective. For example, it works when you cover the Horsetail after spraying it with vinegar.
Horsetail can be killed by covering horsetail with cardboard, yet this isn’t an effective method of eradicating Scouring Rush horsetail. (Learn How To Kill Moss)
Killing Horsetail with salt
Use Horsetail to kill Horsetail, but make sure no other plants grow in that region.
So, using a salt solution to eliminate Horsetail is not advised in gardens. Use: 1 kg cooking salt in 3 liters of boiling water, and saturate the horsetail weed.
It may take three or four applications for this method to work, and you’ll see the Horsetail leaves turn brown once the solution begins working.
Does mowing kill Horsetail?
Horsetail will not die if you mow it down regularly. It can keep the plant under control, yet the Horsetail plants will still grow back from the underground rhizomes under the soil.
What is the best Weedkiller for Horsetail?
2,4-D is the best weed killer to control Horsetail weeds. Cut Horsetail weeds to 2-inches, and apply weed killer onto the cut plant’s stems.
Killing Horsetail with WD40?
Many people have said WD40 works wonders to kill Horsetail weed. It’s a household item, and all you need to do to try it is spray WD40 on Horsetails, and hopefully, they will die.
Does Roundup kill Horsetail?
You can’t spray Roundup to kill Horsetail weeds. The Horsetail plants’ waxy leaves protect them from most herbicides.
Even if you could get Roundup into the plants, horsetails are immune to it. So it’s a waste of time and energy to eradicate horsetail.
How do you stop Horsetail from spreading?
Prune off the Horsetail stems as soon as you see them in the early spring and cover the cut Horsetail plants with a piece of landscape fabric to prevent spread.
Dig up the Horsetail rhizomes and use a soil sifter to get all the rhizomes and dispose of them, do this as soon as you see a new Horsetail sprout. (Read Should I Bag My Grass Clippings If I Have Weeds)
Killing Horsetail Overview
Horsetail weed is difficult to eradicate. While you’re doing it, remember to keep the following points in mind.
- The horsetail plant is a weed that grows quickly and aggressively.
- It is unattractive, depletes the nutrients in your garden plants, and is toxic to horses.
- To get rid of this weed, use a glyphosate-containing herbicide.
- You can also use glyphosate combined with water directly on the weed by spraying or injecting it.
- Pouring white vinegar on the weed’s root and the surrounding soil is a home treatment for killing it for a short time.
- The only proper technique to get rid of horsetail is to change the entire soil culture around your property.
- Begin by increasing your lawn’s drainage.
- Adding a layer of dolomite lime to your soil can raise its pH. However, this weed will be killed by the soil’s high alkaline pH.
- After applying dolomite lime, wait at least two weeks before fertilizing. Organic fertilizer should be used exclusively.
- Digging it out and covering it with black plastic or bark mulch are two approaches that don’t work on horsetail.