Monday, May 27, 2013

Dreaming of Horsetails

First sight

My allotment partner mentioned the word of a strong herbicide today. I was thrilled. Ever since my first sight of Horsetails I have been unable to get the wonderfully ancient living fossil out of my mind. I know all about them , I have taught about them, I have seen them growing and marvelled at them ,but never before actually had them growing  on one of my allotments . 
This plot is not mine alone as you know. I am not able to decide the fate of the enemy. I have really been lying in bed and wondering how to get rid of   Equisetum Arvense the organic way .
Sneaking up between the raspberries at the bottom of the plot there is no way I can dig down a metre and remove the rhizomes. It didn't help me when my  neighbour 2 plots south told me that horsetails even appeared underground in Coal Mines.  I was not happy that Japanese knotweed had appeared at the end of Queen Street, just below the Fishermans Lookout. I am on Doomwatch with it. But with  the seemingly irrepressible Horsetail there are Chemical herbicide solutions. My neighbour 1 plot south said that Creosote was good. I have been through the shed thinking that Elijah Lynn whose chemicals we inherited ,might just of left a little 25yrs ago. Spouse is a careful hoarder of the could be useful. He is also a wise husband and must have listened to me when I suggested we did a massive clear out when we moved from Kiaora. I have been telling myself that Creosote is the best organic solution. I did Organic Chemistry and seem to recall somewhere that it is a coal tar derivative. Its Illegal now. I have been looking it up,online . No wonder Jeyes Fluid is not as good as it was. I have been thinking of people in Filey I know, who might have a little left judiciously in their sheds. I was working up to asking Bob Hall , a 96yr old retired wood work master who I know from Wednesday Morning Prayer at St Oswalds. You see where this is going. I am dreaming of Horsetails and their irradication from my life, from my mind. 
Until today that is, when my allotment partner, who is Organic, mentioned the beautiful word  GLYPHOSATE.


  1. Good luck with that one Margaret.
    My father who was a life-long gardener with enormous energy right up until he was in his early nineties, could never get rid of Horsetail.
    His next-door neighbour in Norfolk used to call it Devil's Handrail.
    No matter what he used, and no matter how deep he dug there was always more.
    It makes my problems with Cleaver and Ground-Elder look insignificant.

  2. Had it in the garden at the rented house in Heald Green. gave up trying to get rid of it as it was rented . In extreme circumstances can you use Round Up ? Certainly not Organic !!!
    Ask Bob flowerdue .