Another pond and lake season is coming up soon, I hope. Hopefully this snow will let go and warmer temperatures are on their way. Middle of March and we are still 10 degrees this morning, ugh. At the time of this writing our winter season has given us close to 200” of snow so that’s a lot of runoff to the ponds. Could be good in the sense of flushing the pond out as a water exchange, but.
What has washed into our ponds? Snow is rain and rain can carry nutrients and other impurities. The snow melt washes the water into the ponds and exposes the ground which has pretty much died so we have those nutrients as well. Spring rains will also wash in nutrients, but for now the ponds are partially iced over and the water is cold so it will help to hold the algae back until the water gets up to around 55 degrees.
Yes we’ll see some algae before the pond warms up but these algae is a cold weather species and should go away over time.
So what are the plans for the pond this spring? Ready to invest in an aeration system or fountain for sight and sound? Tackling weed problems, algae or just keeping up with regular maintenance? Let’s briefly go over some of the options in this articles and point in those directions.
Let’s start from the bottom up and that would be bottom diffused aeration, since the diffuser is on the bottom of the pond pushing air bubbles to the surface we can destratisfy the water as the bubbles go up to the surface we break the thermo cline pushing the bad gasses out of the pond allowing more oxygen to the bottom of the pond. With oxygen at the bottom of the pond it binds phosphates to the sediments on the bottom and renders it useless for algae’s food. With oxygen to the depths of the pond we give the fish more room in their habitat and help them breathe easy so they are less stressed.
Beneficial Pond Bacteria is another maintenance tool and works
best when applied regularly. Depending on the pond needs you can apply weekly, every other week or monthly. This is a method of cleaning up the organic material in the pond. Suspended organics, muck and sludge and helps break down leaves and consume them as well. There is now set rule of thumb as to how much muck will be reduced as it varies on the muck, pond, how much & often it is used and temperature of the water. Over all this has been a good tool for us in the pond we manage and get great reports form others who use our Pond Clarifier and Muck and Sludge products.
Weed or plant control can be heavy on the labor side if you are planning to do hand weeding whether it is actually by hand or using the weed cutter and rake. It takes a lot of tossing out the cutter, jerking it back to shore and repeat. Once you have enough cut then it time to us the rake, tossing it out and pulling to shore to pile up the cut weeds. There is another tool out there we’ve used called the Lake Mower, a 4’ wide sickle bar which mounts to the boat, runs off a battery and cuts the weeds as you drive the boat. Only as fast as walking lawn mower but gets the job done nicely. You still need to push the cut weeds to shore and dispose of them away from the pond so they don’t wash back in. They do have a rake to go along with the Lake Mower but I built my own that is 8’ wide. Lastly is you want to skim off algae or pull in more weeds than the rake can there is the Deskuzzer 2.0 new out this year with a new design.
Another tool is the Lake Blanket, weed suppressor. Have you laid a tarp on the lawn of parked a car on the lawn for a week or more? What happened to the lawn? Same type thing happens in the pond but these blankets are specially designed for use in water with perforation’s to allow gasses out pockets sewn in for re-bar to weight them down and rope to anchor the blankets. Works great to create a path through he weeds, around docks and beaches. After a month or two depending on weed species they can be moved to another location.
Lastly looking a chemical control of plants and weeds, I use as a last choice. There are plenty of chemicals, (herbicide and pesticides) out there and I personally try my best not to over use them unless the problem weed calls for it, and invasive weed or no other way to control the weed. In addition to all the various chemicals they are plant specific in most cases.
In the next few weeks or months I’ll be going over some of the pond we’ve worked on and eventually treated the weeds we’ve treated, starting with an article on chemicals themselves. Things to remember when using any chemical is the “label is law” When used in accordance to the label rates and target weeds match the label you will be fairly safe to use. Also need to know if your state requires you getting a permit to treat the weeds. Here in PA the state owns the water and we need to fill out applications to send to the parties that need to know, once they approve you’ll get your permit to treat.
Pond management can be a tedious job but coming up with a plan, working the plan can over time
get you where you want to be. It can take years for a pond or lake to become troublesome and will take time to bring it back to life again.
Feel free to visit the shop and browse around. Yes there are some chemicals but if you have a specific need, use the contact us page and we’ll help figure out the best product to use.