RICHMOND, Ind. — The recipe for aquatic weeds is a combination of heat water, daylight and vitamins. So as to disrupt weeds, a kind of elements have to be disrupted.
However first, it’s a good suggestion to do not forget that some weeds are good, mentioned Jonathan Ferris, Purdue Extension educator in Wayne County, throughout a webinar.
“We want aquatic weeds in a pond,” he mentioned. “They supply worthwhile escape cowl for younger fish.”
Additionally they contribute to the pure aesthetics of the pond, produce oxygen and stabilize the shoreline.
What circumstances result in weed issues? The No. 1 offender is often shallow water.
“Most ponds in Indiana are too small or too shallow,” Ferris mentioned. “Ideally we’d prefer to see a pond be 1 acre in dimension and common 8 ft in depth.”
When figuring out aquatic vegetation, there are three fundamental classes: algae, submersed vegetation and free floating.
Algae, additionally referred to as moss or scum, is quite common on farm ponds. Microscopic algae type the bottom of the meals chain within the pond.
Some frequent submersed vegetation embody pondweeds, naiads and coontail. Frequent free-floating vegetation embody duckweed and watermeal.
“They’ll get actually out of hand, shortly,” Ferris mentioned of floating vegetation. “They aren’t straightforward to handle. They’re straightforward to determine as a result of they’re not hooked up to something. They float on the floor of the pond.
“Watermeal is the world’s smallest flowering plant. Each of those require excessive nutrient ranges to outlive. In a well-managed pond that has vitamins underneath management, you’re in all probability not going to have quite a lot of duckweed or watermeal.”
Vegetation of particular concern embody Eurasian Watermilfoil, Hydrilla and Egeria. Should you suspect you’ve gotten these vegetation, you possibly can report them at: www.invasivespecies.in.gov.
“The very first thing I don’t suggest is to throw a chemical at it,” Ferris mentioned. “There are quite a lot of different issues we are able to attempt earlier than we attempt chemical compounds, like preventative management, mechanical management, organic management and habitat alteration.”
Should you can preserve the weeds out to start with, you’re forward of the sport.
“We attempt to discourage issues like geese and waterfowl,” he mentioned, noting birds can carry in weeds and weed seeds.
He suggested pond homeowners to scrub off boats and trailers earlier than leaving a web site. Different preventative management measures embody cleansing out reside wells and avoiding non-native vegetation.
Mechanical management includes pulling or raking the vegetation. Organic controls embody utilizing grass carp to devour vegetation.
“Simply know their limitations,” Ferris mentioned of the fish. “If you wish to attempt grass carp, the advice is 15 to 30 per floor acre.”
Habitat alteration can embody including dyes to chill the water, or dredging the pond to start out with a clear slate.
Maintain livestock out of the ponds, Ferris mentioned.
“With chemical compounds, I need to stress that it’s essential positively ID the weeds and observe the label,” he mentioned. “Observe water use restrictions. Apply on the proper time — not mid-summer. And have sensible expectations of management.”