[Market-farming] Horsetail

Nan Johnson nan at olemiss.edu
Thu May 26 14:33:37 EDT 2005

Ah, we planted 12 beds (4x10 feet) of Equisetum hyemale (one of several horsetail species) in order to create hundreds of propagules.  We succeeded, but were dismayed to see that it showed up in the rest of the 36 beds by going underneath the paths between beds (which were covered with heavy woven plastic.)

We also planted some in a bed lined on the bottom and sides with heavy plastic, which it easily escaped!

Though not ecologically invasive, it certainly is a vigorous vegetative grower!!!  And it is not easy to just pull out by hand, we had to dig out the roots.  There were beds of equisetum on the highway that had been hit with roundup but they survived.  However, by mowing, we were easily able to keep the horsetail from sprouting up in the lawn areas beside the beds.

None of these beds were watered anymore than any other medicinal plant so it certainly does not need to be on the edge of a pond, at least here in Mississipi, zone 7b.

I tried selling it at the farmers market as a cut flower since it is so striking but had mixed results.
nan at dancing goats farm

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: ktk2a 
  To: Market Farming 
  Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2005 11:46 AM
  Subject: [Market-farming] Horsetail

  I have a couple of raised beds that seem to be growing nothing but horsetail.  One bed has only soil in it (done before I realized horsetail was going to be a problem) and the other has landscape fabric on the bottom.  The second bed is not nearly so overtaken as the first one, but still the horsetail is a problem.  I plan on digging out all the soil and laying some kind of protection on the bottom, then refilling.  Any ideas on what to use to line the beds with?  Seems like horsetail can grow through just about anything...

  Thanks in advance...
  Cedar Glen, WA


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