As pond experts, we know that few things irritate pond owners or pond maintenance crews more than an abundance of pond weeds, Pond weed control can be tricky, and sometimes those weeds seem to propagate overnight. At Healthy Ponds, we have some pond weed treatment options as well as some tips to help prevent a resurgence of pond weeds once you’ve removed these invasive plants.
Identifying Pond Weeds
Before you start thinking about pond weed control, the first step is always to identify the types of weeds in your pond. These fall into three categories – submerged weeds, emerged weeds and floating pond weeds. Within those categories, are many different plant species and the way you deal with submerged pond weed control can differ from the way you handle weed control with emerged or floating weeds.
In some cases, even an excessive growth of beneficial plants can become an issue, and you may need to reduce the number of beneficial species in and around your pond. At any rate, plant identification is always the first step in the pond weed control process.
Floating Pond Weed Control
With floating weeds, manual removal can be a good option to consider. Using a fine-mesh skimmer, remove as much of the floating weeds as possible and dispose of them carefully, ensuring that they are bagged up and removed to a safe location. Keep in mind that any remaining weeds will begin to propagate, so do you best to remove every trace of these weeds.
Some fish, such as grass carp also can be beneficial, as these fish will consume some floating weeds. It is important, however, that you do some research before adding fish to your pond as you need to control the fish population and you also need to ensure that your climate and pond conditions are suitable for whatever species of fish you wish to introduce to the ecosystem. Fish, of course, produce waste, and this waste also can add excess nutrients to your pond, so you’ll need to speak with a fish pond expert if you wish to use fish for weed control.
Herbicides can be used to kill many types of floating pond weeds. For duckweed and watermeal, for instance, our Sonar AS product can be a great option, and no other aquatic herbicide is more effective on duckweed. Additionally, with this herbicide, there are no restrictions on water use after application and this includes swimming, fishing or allowing livestock to use the water.
Submerged Pond Weed Control
Submerged weeds have root systems at the bottom of your pond, and many of these plant species can spread rapidly. Manual removal can be tricky, because in order for this to be successful, you must remove the entire root system carefully, leaving no trace of the plant behind.
Using an herbicide can be the best method for submerged pond weed control and once the herbicide has killed all of the pond weeds, you should carefully remove the dead plant matter as this can sink to the bottom of your pond and build up a sludge layer. We have several herbicide options for submerged pond weed control, including Sonar AS and Sonar Q.
For issues such as muskgrass (chara), we recommend using our Captain® product and then thoroughly removing all of the dead material from your pond. Muskgrass looks like a plant, but it is actually a species of aquatic algae, so the product used for its removal is an algaecide rather than an herbicide. Captain® is a liquid copper algaecide that provides fast-acting control of a broad spectrum of filamentous and planktonic algae.
Emerged Pond Weed Control
Some emergent plants are sold as decorative plants for ponds and water gardens, such as white-water lily. If left unmanaged, however, many emergent plants can spread rapidly and cause issues that range from covering the surface of your pond or preventing easy access for swimmers and livestock.
With emergent weeds, such as cattails, bulrush, water lilies and smartweed, removing the weeds manually is an option, but you must be careful to remove the entire root system and prevent any plant parts from remaining in the water, as these can simply propagate again, and you are left with the same issue.
Typically, using an herbicide is the best way to deal with emergent weeds, and if you are struggling with an overabundance of emergent pond weeds, click on the contact tab at the top of our homepage and fill out our quick contact form and a technician will be in touch with you to discuss the best products and methods to remove these weeds.
Pond Weed Prevention
There are several ways to prevent excessive pond weed growth in your pond and the basic principle behind pond weed prevention is to create conditions in the pond unsuitable for these weeds to propagate and grow.
First, we recommend that your pond have an aeration system in place. This can help oxygenate your pond, keep water temperatures cooler and prevent some plants, such as duckweed, from forming in your pond. This also can help prevent the rapid accumulation of floating green organic matter.
Second, it is important to control the types of nutrients in your pond. Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus can accelerate the growth of pond weeds as well as floating organic material. One way to prevent excess nutrients is to use grass fertilizers that do not contain nitrogen or phosphorus. Ensuring that your grass and soil are healthy also can prevent runoff because healthy soil can soak up rainwater more efficiently than dry, unhealthy soil.
Monthly treatments with beneficial bacteria for ponds also can be helpful as beneficial bacteria consume excess nutrients. Our all-natural bacteria products, such as AquaSpherePRO®, provide pond owners with an easy, effective method to reduce nutrients and these bacteria products are 100% safe for fish, wildlife, pets and people. (NOTE: Please do not confuse our chemical products with our all-natural products. AquaSpherePRO® and our other natural products are not classified as algaecides or herbicides.)
Need Help? Get A Free Pond Treatment Plan
Whether you need pond weed control products or solutions to help with issues such as a stagnant pond, the team at Healthy Ponds is here to help. If you have questions about any of our products, contact us at (877) 948-0303 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also offer free personalized pond treatment plans for any size water feature at https://healthyponds.com/free-pond-plan/.