|The most expensive plant in your garden
It is in the news again relative to invaded railway properties and creeping into adjacent gardens.
Of course it is over-hyped. Worse plant dangers can threaten your home. Think of trees near your house when you have a clay soil. Things like brambles and bamboo if left for years can be a real problem.
They just do not get the publicity to be cast as evil alien invaders.
It is a perfect storm. A whole industry exists to extract huge payments to eliminate it. In unconscious cahoots with surveyors who believe the hype and who consider homes are seriously threatened. (They are when house agents put the fear of god into clients - both sellers and buyers)
It is not that that JKW is inconsequential. It’s just that with a little forward planning by homeowners a year or two in advance of selling they can easily eliminate it with glyphosate. Good gardeners will not have it all.
Here again another perfect storm creates a problem. Apart from irrational fears of glyphosate safety being high in the public domain, pesticide regulations get in the way of law abiding citizens who are led to believe that using professional glyphosate is illegal. There is a kind of conspiracy that keeps amateur gardeners and professionals apart. And certainly there are good reasons that the general public should not use particular chemicals.
Professional suppliers do not want to bother themselves with amateur’s foibles and very small purchases. The likes of garden centres want to trade in products with very high margins. Price differences are at least tenfold and for those suckers who buy ‘ready to use’ diluted spray the difference in cost might be a factor of hundreds. Legislation regarding amateur gardeners is a very grey area which suits our authorities fine.
I know very few gardeners who do not use professional glyphosate. With a little effort it is easily acquired. In my opinion it is one of the safest pesticides ever invented. (For the uninitiated ’pesticide’ is the generic word for all ‘plant protection’ products)
Even if you don’t take my word for its safety the professional product is only different to amateur products in its strength. When applied appropriately diluted to the weeds it is for all practical purposes the same. The good news is that if you choose to control with stuff from the garden centre it is equally effective. It’s just that it will cost you very much more. This will be as nothing compared with tens of thousands knocked off the value of your home.
|Peter eliminated it with a single injection
My reasons for predicting success
|Equisetum hyemale - just as aggressive as the common marestail
|Cut back by hedge trimmer and ready to drench
I once read of a professional gardener who used the technique on the feared equisetum weed itself and although at the time I did not believe him when he claimed it worked very well I think he was not fibbing.
|Six weeks later
|Six months later - at this point it was mulched over
I described in my JKW control opus how Peter Williams eliminated JKW in one go by injection. This is rather fiddly but works extremely well. It succeeds by exactly the same principle as trickle back down hollow stems and subsequent root translocation.
|Peter cobbled together this natty injector
I was also rewarded with many grateful thanks for pointing the way to eliminating JKW on their property by conventional spraying
How and when
Although I have not carried out the technique on JKW myself I go on general principles
JKW should be growing strongly when you first treat it. No use zapping when growth first appears in Spring. Little use either if you have recently been scrabbling out roots.
Perhaps optimum is to cut new 18 inch shoots to perhaps an inch to the ground (although it might start very much higher). If you have previously embarked on a spraying regime new growth might be very much shorter.
Immediately give a heavy spray For larger areas use a knapsack sprayer, for smaller areas any bog standard hand sprayer. Although a rose on a watering can is generally inappropriate to apply glyphosate to leaves it is suitable here. You want to apply enough spray to visibly penetrate down into the hollow stems.
I would dilute commercial ‘Roundup’ (any professional version of glyphosate) at perhaps one in ten dilution. That would equate to amateur product concentrate at one in one, two or three (product strengths vary).
I do not expect complete success with a first application. You might miss new growths and it might not be the optimum time. (You can start the procedure right through to late Summer). If there is new growth let it grow strongly before you repeat treatment.
With the more usual spraying techniques I describe in previous posts it takes at least three years of repeated glyphosate sprays to eliminate strong established JKW. With this new approach I expect it to be very much quicker
If you do not declare JKW as a house vendor you will not escape your responsibility to any new householder unless JKW is completely and permanently eliminated. No use in court if it was merely dormant
My post that details control of JKW by spraying has been read twenty five thousand times and includes in ‘comments’ reader’s tips and questions
Although this post takes a different direction it includes many of the above observations
My original post on marestail/horsetail
Use my search box to read detailed dedicated articles on controlling epilobium (some misidentify as willow herb), ground elder, hairy bitter cress, hymalayan balsam and brambles - which is the worst weed of all.