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Gardening Tips: How to Get Rid of Horsetail Reed

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Horsetail reed is a rush-like plant that grows up to 4 feet in height. Although horsetail reed can be an attractive addition to your home landscape, it’s an incredibly invasive species.

Horsetail reed’s reproduction is a double-threat since it both produces spores and expands with rhizomes. It can quickly take over large parts of your yard, and once it’s there, it can be tough to get out. It’s especially frustrating if horsetail reed is invading from your neighbor’s yard.

If you have a problem with horsetail reed, get ready to attack with multiple methods. It’s not a plant you can just hoe out once and be done with. If you work consistently, you have a good chance of getting horsetail reed permanently out of your yard.

There are three main methods to clear horsetail reed.

Using A Herbicide

Try using an herbicide first. Even though it may not clear out all your horsetail reed, it may weaken it enough to make it especially vulnerable to other methods.

You can spray your herbicide, just make sure to do it on a windless day to avoid drift. If the horsetail reed is mingled with garden plants you don’t want to poison, use a sponge or gloves to coat the reed stems. This will give you greater control.

2, 4-D and chlorsulfuron are your best bet if the reed is growing on water, but if not, use triclopyr.

Removing It Physically

Although physically intensive, one of the best ways to get rid of horsetail reed is to just clear it out by hand. Trim it at the base of the soil and make sure your track down any rhizomes extending from the main plant.

Wait about a month and come back; again, trim down any reeds that have grown up. Keep this up, and eventually, the horsetail reed will be eradicated.

Altering Soil Conditions

To knock out whatever horsetail reed could be left and to prevent more from invading later, you can alter your soil conditions to make it less hospitable to this species. Horsetail reed thrives in wet, infertile conditions. If you drain and fertilize your soil, you can lower the chances of horsetail reed growing there.

Use gravel or dig drainage ditches through your yard to increase drainage. To increase soil richness, layer your soil with compost, mulch, or fertilizer. Over time, the horsetail reed may move out on its own.

Ready To Remove Horsetail Reed?

Horsetail reed can be an annoying, invasive species, but you can get rid of it! The most important thing is in eradicated it is consistency.

If you do like horsetail reed and only want it in certain parts of your yard, plant it in pots or a raised garden. Just remember that it can still propagate via spores, so you may still have problems with it popping up.