Weed control: horsetail

weed control horsetail Blog

Horsetail is common throughout almost the entire temperate zone of the northern hemisphere. Now there are about 32 species of horsetail. The most common are field, meadow, swamp.

Horsetails take root in both swampy and dry areas. Some species contain silicon in the epidermis, which gives the stem stiffness and strength.

It is a weed of fields and gardens, especially in wet places, on acidic soils, swamps, damp meadows, along the banks of rivers and various reservoirs. The horsetail weed is distributed almost throughout the country; in the steppe regions it is found only in river valleys and ravines. In most of our country, marsh horsetail, poisonous to livestock, is common, which differs from the field horsetail in the presence of branched, convex stems 15-50 cm long with a narrow central cavity.

After the end of the growing season, underground stems-rhizomes hibernate, from which fruit-bearing shoots with sporangia appear early. Spores germinate, growths are formed, on which the genitals are formed. When the female cell is fertilized, a zygote arises, from which summer sporophyte plants develop with rhizome rudiments. Vegetative reproduction occurs due to the formation of shoots from rhizomes, which continues until late autumn. Segments of rhizomes 1 cm long are capable of producing shoots. It ripens in March-May, after which the fruiting stems die off.

Horsetail does not tolerate proximity to plants of the cruciferous species – such as winter rapeseed, oil radish, white mustard, arugula, etc. Their root secretions suppress weeds and contribute to their death. Sow cruciferous plants after harvest and during soil preparation until next year. If you do not find the seeds of these crops, sow winter rye – it also has powerful allelopathic properties.

To effectively destroy unwanted vegetation by chemical means, Roundup (glyphosate) or its analogues should be used. This drug is able to destroy all weeds, both on the soil surface and due to systemic action in the soil itself, since it tends to penetrate the root system.

When using herbicides, certain requirements must be met. First of all, you need to spray weeds that are actively growing. But in severe drought, which is characterized by poor germination of weeds and acute water stress, you should refrain from spraying until it rains. If precipitation is expected within 4-5 hours, spraying should not be carried out, as the herbicide must be completely absorbed by the leaves of the weeds.

For the chemical control method for spraying, choose the afternoon time. A windless, quiet evening is the perfect time. Prepare a respirator, rubber gloves, a spray bottle in advance. You should work carefully, without haste.
Do not leave your land unattended even after harvesting. When new shoots of horsetail appear, destroy them immediately. This will make it easier to control the weed next year.

You can also cover places where horsetail grows with black plastic wrap or mulch . Materials for this can be either organic (chopped bark, chips, needles, branch trimmings, dried lawn grass, cut hay, sawdust) or inert (gravel, river pebbles). It is important to enclose any mulch material on spunbond or geotextile.
In waterlogged areas, it is advisable to drain.

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