Fermented horsetail tea, for the orchard and the vegetable patch

Fermented horsetail tea is an effective fungicide that helps avoid most fruit tree and vegetable patch diseases.

Horsetail can be harvested virtually anywhere since it is one of the most common wild plants. Fermented tea is very easy to prepare from it, and waiting time before use is short.

Finally, avoid growing it in your own garden, it is a truly invasive species that will overtake your plot unless you lock it in as if it were bamboo!

Steps to prepare fermented horsetail tea

  • Harvest 35 oz (1 kg) fresh leaves.
  • Add 9 quarts (9 liters) rainwater (softer).
  • Macerate for 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Avoid using metallic containers for maceration.
  • Mix regularly.
 Fermented horsetail tea is ready when the liquid turns black and leaves turned into slime at the bottom of the container.
  • Filter to remove any residues and produce a perfectly clear liquid.

An alternative recipe, instead of two-week cold maceration, is to let it macerate for only 24 hours and after boil the leaves and the water together for 20 minutes. After boiling, cool and filter before use. This makes the fermented tea available for use much earlier.

Boiling, however, degrades some of the nutrients of the plant so it won’t have such a high fertilizing side-effect, but that’s a secondary consideration when treating against diseases.

Using fermented horsetail tea

Fermented horsetail tea is mainly used in spring and in fall, when diseases are most certain to appear.

  • Since it is absolutely harmless to plants, it can be used all year round.

Mixing ratio is 10% fermented horsetail tea to 90% water.

  • If my 10-quart (10 liter) sprayer contains 9 quarts (9 liters) water, I’ll add 1 quart (1 liter) fermented tea and have a great disease repellent.

Spray regularly to avoid all chance of disease.

Horsetail tea is particularly effective against

Keeping excess fermented horsetail tea

Horsetail plant stems used for fermented tea.Fermented tea can be kept for several weeks in a rather cool and dark place.

Again, choose a sealed container that is not made from metal.

Use a wood barrel or plastic jug or barrels, but avoid iron, copper and other metal-like containers since they would react with active ingredients and render them ineffective.

Smart tip about horsetail tea

When planting flowers or preparing soil mix, moisten the soil up with fermented horsetail tea to cleanse it from damaging fungus.

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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Horsetail leaf shared by Summa under © CC0 1.0
Horsetail stems shared by werner22brigitte under © CC0 1.0

  • Michael wrote on 22 October 2018 at 16 h 32 min

    I will have to try it on our apple trees

    • Gaspard Lorthiois wrote on 23 October 2018 at 9 h 58 min

      Sure thing, Michael! I’m sure your apple trees will love the help from these plants, and it’ll probably feel great to get rid of those weeds in a useful manner!

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