In many parts of the US the beginning of spring also triggers the beginning of pond season. Some may even think that pond season triggers spring! Who really knows?
Whatever your chicken or egg opinion is, it is indisputable that the 2 events go great together; like peanut butter and chocolate. The advent of spring is the time for most pond owners to get out and start the pond up. Most pond owners also must deal with the fact that those long winter months were not kind to their pond and start-up will require more than just plugging in the pond pump. Winter can wreak havoc over those months and since pond owners don’t really check up on their ponds too often during winter the pond just may be full of surprises.
What kind of surprises? Well, not the fun kind. Early spring usually has all the right conditions for a big bloom of string algae in our fish ponds and water gardens; the previous several months had little to no filtration going on, the bare minimum of maintenance was done, leaves and twigs have made their home in your pond and the nutrient levels are sky rocketing.
So what happens? Algae happens! Algae, the most basic plant on the planet, has an abundant food supply of nutrients, temperatures are warming, and the days are getting longer giving more light. Couple those factors with the fact that more complex plants like water lily or water iris, have not really “woken up” from their winter slumber so they are not competing for those nutrients. With these conditions it is an absolute smorgasbord for pond algae, so it eats and eats, reproducing and growing faster and bigger before you know it your pond is full on 5 foot long strands of stringy hair algae. If you do the math it really is no surprise: moisture + light + nutrients – competition + warmth = POND ALGAE.
So, how do you get rid of pond algae? The annual ritual of the spring cleanout for the pond or water garden is just the answer. Physically changing the water in your pond, not just treating it, immediately reduces nutrient levels. Removing the leaves, branches, sludge, and other organic debris in your pond removes the source of nutrient build up. Cleaning your filters and starting up your pond system starts breaking down and controlling the remaining nutrients. Circulating your pond increases oxygen levels to purify the water even further. Do those chores and add in a nice healthy dose of beneficial bacteria and some barley straw extract and your pond will be looking good and ready for the new pond season.
Hey, while you’re at it check your fish for health issues, check other systems in your pond like pumps, lighting; and set up predator deterrents. Predators are pretty busy during those spring months so be vigilant! Add new diffusers to your aerator, and put away all of your winter pond gear. When you’ve done this pond season is officially underway so invite some friends over for a pond party, and don’t forget your local pond guy, they love parties!
And hey, if you want to make your life really easy; have your local pond professional take care of the opening service for you. There are many pond pros out there who offer these services and great prices and they may take a weekend job for you and be able to do it all in one day! Support your local pond pros!! Please! If you need a referral send along a message and the LOVEYOURPOND Blog will help you out…
All copyrights to this material is solely owned by Mike Gannon.