This has been an amazing summer in terms of weather conditions. I don’t remember one with more hot and humid days and around the country, the heat has really been a challenge to deal with.
Many ponds that normally would look pretty good, turned into green swampy settings that would drive any pond owner crazy. No one can blame them for wanting to get things cleared up, but in truth, it isn’t always as simple as treating the issue and hoping it will go away.
Many pond owners might not think of this, but there is actually a good time to treat a weed or algae problem, and there are times when you might be best to leave things alone.
I always suggest that any plant growth issue be treated as early as possible and in fact, it’s not a bad idea when it comes to algae to try and get ahead of it. This means beginning a bacteria routine in the spring time and keeping it going at least until you get into the main algae season. The idea is to lower nutrients enough in the water to where algae simply won’t grow well.
Aquatic weeds are a little different in that you may need to wait until they begin to show up and then deal with them. Still, the best idea is to treat them in the very early stages of their growth. The plants are more vulnerable at that time and you can often find them in lower amounts, meaning that you often won’t need to use as much chemical to deal with the problem, and that’s always a good thing.
In most cases, you can safely treat an algae or weed problem during most of the summer months as long as you have good aeration running in the pond. Without this, the whole effort get’s a little more dicey if you have fish in the pond. You see, when algae or weeds die off in a pond they will pull oxygen from the water. They in fact do this on a daily basis too…adding some oxygen during the day and then pulling it during the night.
What you want to avoid though is this massive, all-at-once dieoff where a lot of plant growth is killed at one time. This can dramatically affect oxygen levels in the water and cause major issues for fish. I talk a bit more about this in this recent pond tip.
So is there a time when you wouldn’t want to treat a problem in your pond?
I would say yes.
If an algae or weed problem as been going on for some time and you decide you might finally want to do something about it, and the temperatures are really hot, and have been for awhile, it might be best to hold off until the weather cools down. It always needs to be remembered too that once we start heading into the fall months around most of the U.S. many of these growth problems will go away anyway. It’s probably better then to simply be ready next spring to proactively deal with the problems.
The one caveat to this is that it always needs to be remembered that beneficial bacteria isn’t simply a way to work on pond algae control issues. The truth is that the main reason it’s had success it helping with algae problems is that it works at a very base level, helping to clean up a pond from the organic elements that ultimately feed algae growth. By reducing these, and literally, cleaning the pond, it negatively affects algae that may exist, or come in the future. So on ponds that have a history of algae issues, we often suggest pond owners even treat their ponds in the fall months. There is usually a carryover of this work and the positive affects into the next season.