Managing the Pond
Owning a pond can be a wonderful experience; it can be the center of activity on your property for recreation, wildlife and aesthetic enjoyment.
An unmanaged pond, however, can be a real problem, looking unsightly, developing an odor and eventually becoming unhealthy.
Just driving up Mountain Road the other day, I saw four ponds that were covered with algae. For pond maintenance, it’s important to eradicate growth early before it has a chance to mature and establish. There are, unfortunately, many kinds of weeds, and you will need to identify what problems you are trying to control. Your pond might ail with terrestrial vegetation and brush on the shoreline, immersed weeds with leaves at the surface, hanging growth, floating algae —more poetically known as “scum”— or submerged plants, multiplying entirely below the surface. My pond had a grass substance that just continued to grow and get longer —and longer— with time.
But I didn’t despair. There are biodegradable products on the market used to cure all these conditions. Last year, I treated my pond for weeds and algae with Sonar RTU from SePRO, a “ready-to-use” aquatic herbicide that oxygen-starves the root system. Plants disintegrate in the water over a period of six to 12 weeks. After consulting the pond size chart, I applied the product directly from the bottle at the shoreline, one dose initially and then two more applications 21 days apart. In three months, my pond was restored to the healthy, natural state of years ago. The results lasted a year, and I will treat my pond yearly for the best results.
Another pond enhancement is to dye the water blue to reduce sunlight penetration and new plant growth; it also helps protect fish from large predators such as herons. There are nontoxic, environmentally friendly dyes available, too.
These products are safe. My family and I swim in the pond, my dogs drink the water and three types of trout live happily in the new, clean environment. The treatment of weeds, algae and other plant life is part of an overall maintenance routine, a necessary task in having a pond on your property, depending greatly on its uses. Realizing the unique concerns of your pond will help you choose the best formulas that will lead to more successes. For more pond maintenance tips, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Jamieson is a Realtor/broker with Stowe Realty and offers land consultation through Vermont Land Company. He is a seventh-generation Vermonter and lives with his wife, Sue, on Mountain Mead Farm in Worcester. His monthly column, Land Here, features helpful property maintenance and real estate information.