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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

More on controlling pond weeds

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Last week's emphasis was given on some of the common questions that were asked last year about pond management.

This week, the discussion will continue, but focus on some of the common weeds that clients had questions about last year.

One of the main questions that were asked was how to deal with algae.

There are three main types of algae. The first is microscopic algae (commonly thought of as blue-green algae).

It appears to look like a swirl of green or yellow-green oil floating on top of the pond. Microscopic algae often occur when there is an abundant of nutrients. To control this problem, it is best to prevent excess nutrients from entering the pond.

Mat-forming algae is the second type of algae. It is commonly referred to as moss. It will grow in mats around the edges and bottoms of the pond starting in the spring.

The final type of algae is Chara. Chara is often a calcified, brittle plant that is rooted. Using copper products can control most algae problems. However, you should not use copper products if there are trout or koi found in the pond.

Duckweed and watermeal are two free-floating plants that can wreak havoc on a pond. These two plants are extremely small (duckweed is one-eighth to one-fourth inch in diameter).

You can tell these two plants apart by looking for roots. Duckweed has small roots that hang in the water while watermeal has no roots. Both of these pants can completely cover a pond and cause oxygen depletion to occur.

Waterlilies, watershield, spatterdock and the American pondweed are three examples of rooted-floating plants. Each of these plants has underground stems, called rhizomes, from where new plants sprout. The leaves and flowers of these species then float on top of the water. American pondweed has long slender leaves that are 2-3 inches long. They will then be attached to their roots by long petioles.

Spatterdock has yellow flowers that float above the water and leaves that stand erect from the water surface. Waterlilies and watershield are similar in appearance. However, you can tell them apart since watershield has smaller leaves and petioles that are attached in the center of the leaf.

It takes a lot of time and effort to learn to identify the various pond weeds that can be found around a pond.

For help with identifying pond weeds, you can bring in a sample (live or photograph) of the weed to your local extension office.

If you would rather try to identify the plant yourself, Purdue Extension Publication, APM-3-W, "Identifying and Managing Aquatic Vegetation," is a great source. You can find a copy of it at http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia....

In addition to being a great identification resource, this publication has information on how to control the various weeds both biologically, manually and by using chemicals.

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 smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* March 29 -- No Master Gardener Class. Next class is April 5,

* March 31 -- Spring Planting Outlook, 7-8:30 p.m., Clay County Extension Office. Call 448-9041 to RSVP by March 30, and

* April 2 -- Clay County 4-H Council Fish Fry, 4-8 p.m., Clay County Fairgrounds.