Does killing horsetail with vinegar work?
The answer is yes. But you need the right sort of vinegar. And be prepared to work at it.
Horsetail can be one of the most difficult weeds to get rid of. It has an extensive root system that grows deep across a 20 ft. diameter area. And the plant sends up many shoots from underground rhizomes. All of which you’ll need to deal with.
So let’s take a closer look at how to use this natural weed killer to eradicate horsetail from your yard.
Does Vinegar Kill Horsetail?
Vinegar can kill horsetail. But it’s best to use a high-strength acetic acid solution of around 20-30%. The table vinegar in your cupboard has a low acetic acid concentration. And it will be less effective.
Vinegar works as a contact weed killer. When you spray the horsetail weed with vinegar, it burns and kills the parts of the plant it makes contact with. The results are seen quickly. Within hours the horsetail plant will start to disintegrate.
Killing Horsetail With Vinegar
Horsetail is known for being difficult to kill with chemical weed killers. This is because horsetail has a waxy cuticle that prevents systemic weed killers from getting access to the inside of the plant.
But high strength vinegar can easily burn through this protective layer. Make sure you soak the horsetail plant in the vinegar to get the best results.
And remember to wear protective gear when using vinegar. It can cause burns if you get it on your skin.
You’ll Need To Repeat The Treatment
Be prepared for the horsetail plants to regrow. Without killing the roots, you’ll continue to see new shoots emerge from the ground. But if you repeat the treatment every time you see them, you can eventually exhaust the plant and prevent it from returning.
This is a good high-strength vinegar on Amazon:
The Drawbacks Of Using Vinegar To Kill Horsetail
Although it can be effective, using vinegar in your garden does come with some significant drawbacks.
Firstly, vinegar is a non-selective weed killer. This means it kills any plants you spray it on, not just horsetail. So you need to be very careful when using it around desirable plants. If horsetail is growing on your lawn it can be difficult to avoid damaging your grass. To be more precise, you can try painting the horticultural vinegar on the plant instead of spraying.
Secondly, you also have to be careful not to get too much vinegar on the soil. It can affect growing conditions and harm your plants.
Is There Anything Else You Can Try?
To make the task easier, you can try a top-rated chemical weed killer for horsetail. These can kill the plant to the roots making it harder for new shoots to grow. Reducing the time taken to eradicate the horsetail weed.
But as mentioned above, many herbicides struggle to kill horsetail, so it’s important to choose the right one.
Other methods that people sometimes try include: