If you have duckweed or other floating weeds blooming in your pond right now, this post is for you.
It can be a frustrating and miserable feeling to see your once pristine pond getting quickly covered with some kind of floating gunk that ends up covering the entire surface.
What you’re looking at could be several things but usually it’s some form of duckweed, watermeal, or floating scum-like algae.
For duckweed and watermeal a very common suggestion is to treat these floating pond weeds with some type of chemical. Fluridone is a commonly prescribed remedy and this can be found under several brand names, including Sonar or Whitecap. It works as a photosynthesis disruptor and can certain work to keep ponds clear of the weeds. But this type of treatment can be quite expensive.
Another method, which does not use chemicals, is to employ aggressive amounts of beneficial bacteria and robust aeration which are designed to lower nutrients in the water that the plants feed on. We have had some success with this method but with one important clarification. This approach works only if you can get ahead of the plant growth and begin treating a month or two before it starts to show up.
Most aquatic plants won’t grow well or abundantly in cool conditions, but as things warm up in the spring and early summer, they can cover a pond quite quickly. So being proactive ahead of this seasonal period is essential.
In truth, a similar timing is useful with the chemicals as well. Duckweed is certainly more controllable earlier rather than later.
So with chemicals an biological approaches on the table, is there any other way to combat this weed growth? And the answer is, most definitely. You can remove it manually! Whoohoo! I can hear you now…”this guy is crazy to think you can pull this stuff out by hand!”
Now if you’re thinking that, you’d be right. Removing duckweed by hand is all but impossible, but with the right tool, you’ve got a good shot at it.
The very best one I’ve come across to date is a pond type skimmer called the Parachute Skimmer. The skimmer is a well designed, and as the name implies, it has a float on the top, and a weight on the bottom of the very fine mesh net, and you simply drag it through the floating weeds and it cleanly skims them up and you pull them to shore.
Skimming will take a significant organic load off the pond which is very useful. Ideally you want to get the plant growth out of the pond rather than having it die off and sink, then decay at the bottom. In most cases, it’s this organic decay in the pond that’s feeding more growth in the first place!
To learn more about the Parachute Skimmer just click the image below. Right now Amazon has the best prices we’ve found. And if you get one, let us know in the comments how you like it!