Posted by: sweetpea | May 29, 2008

Horsetail….not all bad!


I’m lucky enough not to have Horsetail on my plot but I’ve heard many a tale about what a pain it is to get rid of, including from a friend who has asked me to keep an eye on his whilst he’s away (which reminds me I must pop over to his place soon to pull it up).

However I recently read that horsetail has natural fungicidal properties and can be used to help treat potato blight….so I thought as I will have a source of horsetail this year I’d give it a go this year.

Horsetail Fungicide recipe (taken from Little Green Blog)

  1.  In a large glass or stainless steel pot, mix 1/8 cup of dried horsetail leaves in 4 1/2 litres of unchlorinated water (use water from your waterbut or let some tap water stand for a couple of days)
  2. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 1/2 hr.
  3. Cool, strain, bottle and label. The infusion will keep for a month which is long enough for you to keep reapplying to your crop. Any left overs can be used as a wonderful hair rinse.
  4. To use, dilute the 1 part horsetail concentrate to 5-10 parts unchlorinated water. Spray infected plants once every week or two in dry weather or daily if it is raining.  Can also be used as a preventative measure if there is a threat of blight in your area.

 I find the warning service offered by Blightwatch a useful tool, once you’ve registered with the site and given your postcode, they will send an email alert whenever there is a risk of blight in your area.  I have yet to actually take any action when I receive these alerts other than keeping an eye on my plants and removing any infected looking leaves.  This year though I will use it as a means of knowing when best to apply the horsetail fungicide.


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