Snake grass

Utah State University Extension provides informal education outreach to residents throughout the state. This question-and-answer column is designed to give you research-based information whether your gardening interest is producing fresh food, creating a landscape area or anything in between.Q: I was wondering if there is a way to kill snake grass? I’m not sure if that is the actual name. That’s what we called it when I was a kid.

A: Some call it snake grass others horsetail, but whatever you choose to call it, Equisetum can be a troublesome and invasive nuisance. It takes persistence to rid the lawn or garden of this weed.

Here are a few ideas that may be helpful. Keep it mowed. Snake grass thrives in soil where there’s lots of moisture, so correcting the problem of over watering or irrigation leaks can be helpful.

Cutting off the tops will prevent spores from forming and being dispersed in the wind. Removing the tops also works to help starve the plant since it cannot photosynthesize as well with most green plant parts gone.

After cutting, apply an herbicide directly to the cut snake grass. Brush the weed with glyphosate while being careful not to apply on other grasses or plants. Applying an herbicide to the top of snake grass without cutting it doesn’t work; the surface is very resistant to the movement of those chemicals. Additional applications will be necessary because snake grass grows by underground rhizomes with roots that can go four feet deep into the ground. You can use 2-4-D or similar products mixed with a surfactant spreader/sticker.

Remember to always read label directions and do not spray volatilizing herbicides such as 2,4-D when over 80 degrees. Eradicating snake grass from your lawn…