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mare's tail question

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mare's tail question

Post  Colin.B on 6/2/2010, 7:20 pm

i,m in the planning stages of my SFG at the moment and the lovely 25 x 27 area i want to use is kinda over grown , but the main problem is mare's tail which if you dont know about it is near impossible to get rid of . I have no plans to do the dig it over remove way which takes years and would more than likely infect my raised beds before i got rid .

So the other solution is to plastic sheet the whole area , which TBH works with what i pln to do as i will be laying gravel between beds and block paving a seating area . So my question is this , if i do plastic sheet the whole area will it cause a huge drainage issue for my beds and if so is there a solution to it . I also have build 8 inch high beds because i planned to put 2 inches of something like sand in the base of each bed or possibly gravelin there too with a weed membrane placed over it .

I'm hoping that starved of light and unable to push through the black plasstic sheet after a few years i should have wiped out a lot of it , nd that the only culprits i'm likely to get are the sneaky ones who pop out around the perimeter area which i will get as soon as i see them making an appearance . I know i'll never get rid of this stuff cos it's been here since the dinosaurs ,but i'm hoping i can aat least calm it using this method

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Re: mare's tail question

Post  Megan on 6/2/2010, 7:37 pm

Table top beds?
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Re: mare's tail question

Post  Colin.B on 6/2/2010, 7:39 pm

not really what i wanted to do TBH ,i,d like to keep them on the ground

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Re: mare's tail question

Post  Jola on 6/2/2010, 8:49 pm

Seems like you have good plan. There is a website which tells about horse tail removal (I assume it is mare's tail):
http://www.gardenguides.com/85935-remove-horsetails/

Vinegar plant killing solution is described here:
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vinegar-for-poison-ivy.html#
It is for poison ivy (nasty plant indigenous to America) but should work for horse tail too.

I think that if you use soil mixture similar to what is recommended by Mel you don't need to use sand or gravel in the bottom for drainage, unless you want to put it there just to be safe from horse (mare) tail.
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Re: mare's tail question

Post  Ha-v-v on 6/2/2010, 9:04 pm

Colin,
I bet you can get it under control, I know I have to work on my weeds that like to stay here, not mares tail as much, but other things vining type things with so many thorns I have to use scissors. I want to cover all my walk ways, but its just not in the cards at the moment.. it would be on my list of things to do before I ever started if I could start over again Smile


Vinegar plant killing solution is described here:
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vinegar-for-poison-ivy.html#
It
is for poison ivy (nasty plant indigenous to America) but should work
for horse tail too.


This is the recipe I use for my poison ivy and other weeds I want gone, but something you suggested Jola in another thread about Virginia Creeper really stuck in my mind, cut the creeper then spray whats cut so it gets to the roots, I am going to do that myself with some of the harder weeds in my garden walk ways. Id pull it out if it wasnt so hard. ugh. I just cant get to the cutting of the weeds part until next week to spray them. Cant wait till I have the walk ways weed free Smile

Happy Gardening
Ha-v-v
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Re: mare's tail question

Post  Colin.B on 6/2/2010, 9:27 pm

Yes one reason is as an extra protection fromthis weed ,but also as the beds i made are 8 inches high might be 10 not sure i decided to raise the inside slightly with sand or similar . I,ll isolate an area and try the vinegar way and see what the results bring ,if it even shows a slight result i,ll be happy .

Obviously the soil will end up very acidic , but this doesnt really matter to me as i'm not using the soil

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Re: mare's tail question

Post  martha on 6/2/2010, 9:54 pm

what's TBH?


Oh, wait - is it "to be honest"?
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Re: mare's tail question

Post  LaFee on 6/3/2010, 1:04 am

Hi, Colin -- I think the idea of mowing it all down, spraying it with something-or-other, then covering it with your plastic barrier is a good one.

I agree with the others...I don't think you really want a drainage layer *in* your boxes...I think I'd put down the barrier, and THEN put the boxes on top of that...If you have some sort of drainage possibility on the bottom of the box, you'll have no more issues, or very limited ones.

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Re: mare's tail question

Post  Icemaiden on 6/3/2010, 5:10 am

Hi Colin

Do you think a layer of plastic might make your boxes degrade faster because they might be wet all the time? Would it help to perforate it?

I've got horse tail too. I just put down weed barrier and hoped for the best!

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Re: mare's tail question

Post  LaFee on 6/3/2010, 5:51 am

How about this?

Mow the mare's tail and spray with whatever you think will do it some damage.

cover with plastic barrier, and cover with stones/mulch/covering as you wish.

Place bricks/pavers on top of the covering.

Place your box (with hardware cloth and weed barrier stapled to the bottom) on top of the bricks/pavers.

Then your boxes aren't actually ON the surface, the mare's tail has a good chance of being strangled out eventually, and your boxes have drainage.

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Re: mare's tail question

Post  Colin.B on 6/3/2010, 10:22 am

i was tempted to suspend the boxes on something like bricks but was put off because this makes the height even more , my thought was to use breeze blocks i think you guys call em cinder blocks in the states . basically its a building block that cuts with a hand saw .

the reason i considered these was they have a bigger surface area and are cheap so i'd use less ,but while writing this i have had an idea .instead of suspending the frames on them maybe i could fill the inside with them like the sand idea . this way if i put wead barrier over it theres the weight to hold down the plastic ,theres the height to reduce the 10 inch depths to 6 inches as pe mels instruction ,i'm pretty sure breeze blocks also absorb water and realease excess too .

i,ll check this option out and see if it might be valid ,thanks guys yet again you givemethe answersi need .

ps i forgot in the vineger recipe it calls for 8 drops of liquid detergent , now i know from visits to the states you call a few washing products different names so could you clarify what this is or what its used for so i dont put the wrong one in thanks

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Re: mare's tail question

Post  Jola on 6/3/2010, 11:59 am

Colin.B,
Liquid detergent usually means detergent used for washing laundry, but I'm sure you can use in the recipe detergent used for washing dishes (dishwashing detergent) - as the only role of any detergent in this recipe is to be a surfactant - to allow easier penetration of salt-vinegar solution, nothing else.

Colin.B, I have been having an impression, from the beginning, that you are very concern about the depth of your boxes. You do not have to have exactly 6" boxes. If they are deeper it is perfectly okay. The only disadvantage is that you would have to use more soil to fill them out.

My boxes are from 8" to 12".
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Re: mare's tail question

Post  Colin.B on 6/3/2010, 12:09 pm

It's not really a concern more save money thing ,those extra inches will mount up cost wise so i,m trying to limit this ,but also i want to hold back this weed as much as i possibly can so the morethe better i say .To put it into perspective i test layed the boxes (ok my wife said get em out of the house lol ) and i layed membrane down once the buggers started growing they made it through the membrane and if they didnt they lifted it like a big top lol .but where i used weight i have to admit it did hold them back .

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Re: mare's tail question

Post  LaFee on 6/3/2010, 12:38 pm

Colin, the recipe for the weed killer means washing-up liquid.

If you find yourself completely confused by any of the American terminology, just ask -- I speak reasonably fluent British, so I'll help translate it!

I spent year and years working with a company in Warrington and another in Crewe, so I can even speak oop-norf British.

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Re: mare's tail question

Post  Chopper on 6/3/2010, 6:58 pm

Were it I, while the mare's tail is growing I would treat it with a Roundup type product (active ingredients: 1% Glyphosate & 0.1% Triclopyr). The idea is that it kills down to the root but you can grow in the same soil soon after. I would try to kill it to the root before mowing it down.

If you do lay plastic down you will need to have a plan for extra drainage from your beds. Drill holes in the sides or whatever. I like the 2 inches of sand topped with weed mat topped with Mel's Mix. I think that will help.

Good luck and let us know what you decide - and send pictures of course.

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Re: mare's tail question

Post  Jola on 6/3/2010, 8:31 pm

Colin.B, I like your idea to put breeze blocks inside your boxes. You should have good drainage with them, and what I think would be really good, is that any time you want make your boxes deeper you can do it easily. With sand or gravel it would be much more work. You can also make, for example, half of box 6" (with blocks) and half 10" (without blocks). So blocks give you flexibility, and they will keep those horse tails down.
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