The weather is starting to warm up and you might be thinking about building a pond this year or thinking about how you could help control pond problems this summer.
If so, then this news article is for you as I have compiled a list of some of the questions that were asked last year that dealt with pond management.
One of the top questions that was asked was why do I have a lot of plant growth and algae on my pond. There are several reasons that you could experience this problem.
For starters, you probably have a high nutrient level that is a result of nutrient-loaded runoff from fields, pastures and yards.
Other possible reasons include the water in the pond has become stagnant or the pond is too small or shallow. Ultimately, to fix this problem, you need to try to reduce the amount of nutrients entering your pond.
You can do that by adding a filter strip. If you can't add a buffer strip, you could try utilizing an aerator to help move the water.
If you are curious about why some ponds are an incredibly dark blue color it is because the owner is trying to reduce plant and algae growth.
By adding the blue dye to their pond frequently, they block out some of the sunlight, which ultimately reduces vegetation. If you are interested in trying to utilize dye in your pond this year, then you should put your first application of the dye in your pond by April 15.
That is the approximate date that we begin to see plant germination occur in Indiana.
A few individuals asked last year if they should try to prevent their livestock from entering their pond. Ultimately, that decision should be made by the homeowner, but I can tell you that livestock can be detrimental to ponds.
To begin with, they can add to any nutrient problem that might already be occurring through their manure. Even if the animals are not allowed to enter the pond, the runoff from their pasture can contribute to the nutrient problem. Additionally, as they climb in and out of the pond, their hooves can break down the shoreline causing erosion problems.
If you have fish in your pond, you might be wondering if you should feed them. Generally, feeding fish in a pond is not necessary.
If you feed your fish regularly, you can actually cause nutrient problems.
Ultimately, if your pond is well designed and managed properly, you should have adequate amounts of plant and animal organisms in your pond to support the fish population.
Taking care of a pond is a lot of hard work. You have to be dedicated and make regular observations to ensure that you do not have excess nutrients present and prevent any plant and algae growth.
Next week, the emphasis will be given on how to control some of the common weeds found in ponds in Clay and Owen counties last year.
As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at email@example.com.
Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.
Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:
* March 25 -- Quad Co. PARP, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Equipment Technologies, Inc., in Mooresville. Call 812-829-5020 to RSVP by March 20, and
* March 31 -- Spring Planting Outlook, 7-8:30 p.m., Clay County Extension Office. Call 448-9041 to RSVP by March 30.