A few weeks ago I talked about the history and research behind the use of barley straw for stopping pond algae growth. In truth, many people ask about barley, and a number of other folks claim to use it regularly in their ponds to help keep them clearer. There’s no doubt that for some situations it works pretty well and of course, it’s natural which is also desirable.
But this particular article has come about because I’ve been reminded once again, after at least a few comments each season, that people are effectively using lavender sprigs or straw and this appears to help with algae restriction too.
So what’s up with that?
I love lavender and I’m not afraid to say so. You’ll find the stuff in just about everything these days, from essential oils to perfumes, but many people would rightly ask, what does this have to do with pond algae at all? Well this started, like many things I think where people get so desperate that they try whatever they have on hand to produce a remedy. Even going back years ago, a woman wrote to me with a story outlining her success by using several lavender stalks in her small pond. Word of mouth was that it could help, she tried it, and sure enough, the algae went away!
Now I’m not a big fan of testing out just anything in a pond, particularly if there are fish involved, but in every case I’ve heard of so far, lavender has caused no issues for fish. And research from the Centre for Aquatic Plant Management in England has demonstrated that the combination of lavender and barley straw did indeed inhibit algae growth in test ponds.
Just as with barley, as the lavender stalks decay, they release a substance that eventually converts into something (researchers aren’t sure but speculate) that resembles a light form of hydrogen peroxide. This ends up being very safe and ecologically friendly for fish, desired plants, and pets, but not so supportive of new algae growth.
Here’s a couple of key points about barley and lavender that you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re going to try them.
- Only used very well dried barley or lavendar
- Bunch the stalks or straw together in a bundle and enclose this in a mesh bag
- Try to keep the barley or lavender bale near the surface
- Use good aeration to help circulate the by-products of the decaying straw
- Allow 4 to 6 weeks for the straw to work
- All types of straw work better as a retardant rather than a treatement
- Some people report it may work better on green water than string algae
- Bales will normally last up to 4 to 6 months
Recently we’ve found a very good blend of Lavender and Barley straw in 1 lb bales that’s designed to work in ponds up to 1000 square feet.
If you’re interested in trying this interesting and aromatic mix in your pond, click the link below. This is a special, limited time offer for your newsletter readers only!
Readers Special: Purchase the Pelindaba Lavender & Barley Bales Here