Along with sunny days comes the growth of all plants.
Unfortunately that can include the plant growth that you do not want to see – like the greenish tinge of pea soup single cell algae and the string algae of blanketweed.
This is caused by the algae cells reproducing at a fast rate in the warmer top layer of water fuelled by any surplus nutrients in the water.
Remember if the algae is the only plant form in your pond then that is the plant that will grow.
To combat this growth of unwanted algae plant life:
- add more plants you do want to see and enjoy – Water Hawthorn for early season surface cover before the waterlily leaves reach the surface to block out some of that sunshine on the water
- add oxygenating plants ( Spiked Milfoil, Potamogeton crispus and Rorippa nasturtium aquaticum) to use up some of the nutrients otherwise left available for the algae cell to use – healthy competition for the nutrients should starve out some of the algae
- boost any filter system you have with extra beneficial bacteria, change the UV clarifier bulb and wash the housing ready for the new season so it is fully effective
- use a bacterial product that will reduce the organic sediment in the pond rather than try and remove the sludge at this time of year as the amphibians may have returned to your water.
- Diary date a pond sludge clearing day for Autumn this year!
- add barleystraw minibales or Concentrated Extract of Barleystraw as inhibitors to algae growth
Above all don’t get hung up on having a spotless algae-free pond as this plant growth does protect the young amphibians from predators and it is a food source for young tadpoles.
Everything in moderation – some control by us and some allowance for nature to take its own course. Normally, in a well balanced pond, the algae will be under control when the waterlilies cover half the surface of the pond. New ponds may take a little time but it will be worth it.
For more information on green algae see our Tips and Advice page.