Horsetail decoction

Horsetail, green barrels ready to be picked for decoction.

Growing an organic garden doesn’t mean doing nothing to defend plants against disease and pests, it just means avoiding poisoning the soil and vegetables with chemicals and instead looking for natural remedies. The good thing is also that many of these organic farming defense systems can be self-produced with what nature itself gives us, so we also avoid spending unnecessarily on phytosanitary products.

One of the most useful preparations for the organic gardener is the decoction of equisetum which can prevent and contain many cryptogamic diseases that could attack our vegetables, as an alternative to the decoction, a maceration can always be made from dry or fresh equisetum plants.

So let’s see how to prepare it in detail and then how and when to use it in our garden. If you are interested in this and many other methods for not using chemicals and taking care of your plants, we recommend that you read the excellent manual on how to defend your garden with natural methods.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Know and recognize horsetail

  • Make a decoction of horsetail

  • Use the decoction in the garden

  • Macerate of Equisetum

  • Horsetail as a fungicide


Know and recognize horsetail

Horsetail Spore Drum

Horsetail: plant and recognition. It is a spontaneous plant that grows in damp soil or on the edge of ditches and is very widespread, so we are talking about an easily and freely accessible ingredient. The scientific name is Equisetum arvense but in popular tradition it is also called horse grass or horsetail. In spring the horsetail makes a yellowish stalk with a darker cap like a mushroom, in fact it makes spores instead of seeds, while in summer the green stalk comes out, the one to be harvested, which can be recognized by the very fine leaves, needle or hair-like. Being a very particular plant, it is very easy to recognize the horsetail, to look for it in the wet areas of the fields or at the edge of the streams.

How does it protect. Horsetail strengthens plants against cryptogamic diseases because it contains a lot of silica which strengthens the tissues of horticultural plants and helps to make them less susceptible to molds and fungi (mildew, root rot, white rot, etc.). Horsetail decoction also helps defend against aphids.

Make a decoction of horsetail

Preparing the decoction of equisetum is not difficult: take 100 grams of dry plant, or 300 grams of fresh plant, for each liter of water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat and let cool.

At this point, the compound is filtered and diluted one to five with water. As you can see, it is really very simple to get a ready-to-use horsetail decoction in the open field.

Use the decoction in the garden

Horsetail in decoction has three uses: foliar, in the soil, in the roots during transplanting. Needless to say, unlike chemical fungicides, horsetail can be used without fear of poisoning the soil or vegetables, and if you abuse it, nothing bad happens.

Use on leaves. The decoction is used to water the leaves, again diluting it from 1 to 5, if the garden is not very large, a 5-liter watering can can be used (which also helps with the dosage), otherwise the appropriate pump for spray treatments. The decoction of equisetum by foliar way is useful in particular to prevent or contain powdery mildew (white disease typical of various plants and in particular pumpkins and zucchini). It is advisable to treat every 20 days, if there are ongoing diseases, do repeated and frequent treatments. Treatments should be done on low humidity days but not in the hot sun.

Land use. It is used to control root rot and to protect tubers and underground parts of vegetables. The decoction is diluted in exactly the same way as the leaf decoction and distributed in the soil every two to three weeks.

use in transplantation. Before planting the seedlings, soak the earthen bread in the decoction for a few seconds, this way the roots benefit from the horsetail and it will be more difficult for the seedling to get sick from the spores present in the soil.

Horsetail macerate

Another method of using horsetail: maceration . Another possibility of using horsetail is to macerate it, let it ferment in a container of 100 grams of fresh plant per liter of water, filter it and then dilute it from one to five. The maceration time should be 7-10 days (you realize it’s almost ready when it starts to foam on the surface, then wait a few days).

The decoction is better able to extract the useful substances from the plant, the macerate of horsetail has the advantage of not requiring cooking and therefore of being much easier to obtain. The use of mash and decoction is similar.

Horsetail as a fungicide

Horsetail has a great wealth of properties, in particular a high content of mineral salts, which reach nearly 20% of the total material. A third of these salts is silica, present in two forms (soluble and insoluble). These elements can support the plant, helping it to be more resistant to pathogens.

It is not a fungicide, so it should not be claimed that horsetail decoction can cure ongoing diseases, but rather a preventive measure. Like many natural remedies, it is not a miracle product, it is an aid for the natural defenses of the plant, but it is really effective in reducing problems. A good biological defense begins with creating a healthy environment, starting with a draining soil rich in humus, horsetail is part of this strategy.

The classic fungicide remedies of organic farming, copper and sulphur, are not exempt from negative ecological consequences, it is better to learn alternative methods that allow their use to be reduced.

There are also antryptogamic products on the market based on the action of this spontaneous plant. , for example the one produced by Solabiol, who cannot find the equisetum plant or is lazy and does not want to make the decoction can buy them. I always advise when it is possible to use homemade purees, not only for economic reasons: the garden in this way will give more satisfaction.

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