The Horsetail Experiment is Over

October 17, 2014


You think I was kidding when I said I don’t have much of a green thumb? Get this: I can’t even grow weeds!

It’s been almost three months since the horsetail reed experiment began on our front patio, and I’m pretty sure it’s time to throw the towel in.

What happened?

1.) Wrong planter. These things seem to survive best in really wet soil. That’s why you see them growing in the wild along the edges of rivers and streams. The Monrovia page makes several references to how these do well in water/pond situations.

Well … the planter we have has four drainage holes in the bottom. I was able to reach under and plug two of them, but — as the photo above shows — water flowed freely out of the other two. I watered these things nearly every day, but the horsetail never really grew big and tall, and many of them flat-out died. (And now we have a water-stained front patio to clean, too.)

2.) Too much wind. Wind? In the Tri-Cities? No way! (That’s sarcasm, you out-of-towners.) Since the horsetail wasn’t growing big and strong, they were really susceptible to wind damage. The planter is kinda tucked away, but there’s still enough wind around here to blow the reeds over.

I took the photo above after the most recent day of 15-20 MPH winds. You can see a good chunk of them just laying down. And once these things bend, that’s it — they’re broken, and not gonna grow again. (Replacements grow pretty quickly, actually, but then those just get blown over by the next windstorm.)

Next Year?

I’m thinking we’ll just leave these in the planter over the winter, and I’ll water the survivors as needed. But come next year, it’ll be time to find something else to replace the horsetail reed. Hopefully something that can survive my lack of gardening skills….

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