An overgrown, weed-infested garden can become a breeding ground for disease and pests. Aquatic weed growth can create a similar effect on a pond. Invasive algae can decrease dissolved oxygen levels and disrupt water flow, ultimately harming wildlife. These four methods for aquatic weed control can prevent the harmful outcomes of weeds left unchecked.
1. Chemical Control
Chemical control plans require careful planning and research. They involve accurately identifying the problematic aquatic weed and choosing an herbicide that will target that weed without harming other desirable wildlife in your pond. Regulations surrounding the use of pesticides and herbicides vary from state to state; make sure your herbicide of choice is legal in your state and that you apply it correctly.
2. Biological Control
Biological control involves introducing another living organism, such as grass carp, to manage aquatic weeds. Like chemical control, this method requires accurately identifying the type of aquatic weed that’s problematic and selecting a living organism that will attack only the weed. The biological control should not harm the surrounding environment.
3. Mechanical Control
Just like you would manually weed your garden, you can manually weed your pond. Mechanical control involves pulling aquatic weeds with a rake or your hands. This method is effective only when every root and fragment of the weeds are removed.
4. Preventative Control
Engineering your pond’s construction can help you avoid aquatic weeds from the get-go. Rooted aquatic weeds and algae flourish in shallow areas, so consider deepening areas of your pond that are two feet deep or less. Sometimes, shallow water can work in your favor. By lowering pond water levels during the colder months, shallow areas will freeze or dry out, reducing the spread of submerged aquatic weeds.
Aquatic weed management requires time and expertise. Rather than potentially damaging your pond and the vegetation and wildlife that inhabit it, hire a professional to assist with aquatic weed management.