A blanket of problems for the garden pond

Duckweed ' a persistent pest, unlike the frog.

Duckweed ' a persistent pest, unlike the frog.

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We have been plagued with duckweed on the surface of the pond again this year. This tiny green floating plant is a real nuisance and if not treated, completely covers the surface.

During the winter, we managed to clear the entire surface by lifting out sheets of ice – a really cold job but the duckweed is encased.

The ice is removed from the pond and straight into the compost bin – great.

The trouble is that if just one little piece is left behind, the weed breeds like mad.

Sure enough, in spring we were back where we started – the surface of the water was covered with the wretched stuff.

Off to the garden centre to see if there is a product available to do the job and... there was.

We used it according to the directions. You musn’t allow the product to land on leaves of other plants, so we did the treatment before the water lily leaves appeared and waited with bated breath. It didn’t work.

Back to the drawing board.

It’s now a team effort to combat this problem. Pam uses the hose and squirts the jet of water over the surface of the water while I am at the opposite side, using a fine fishing net to scoop up the duckweed.

On previous occasions, I have just used the net to scoop up the weed, but using the hose ensures we remove far more duckweed in a shorter period of time; I can’t understand why we haven’t done this before.

We had another problem aggravated by a hot spell in late June – blanket weed.

This nuisance grew so rapidly I was worried the pond water would overheat, or the water would lack oxygen.

So I decided to try another product called Stop Blanket Weed, made by Evolution Aqua. It is £9.99 for a tub, but if you buy two you get one free.

It is in stock at the aquatic centre on the same site as the garden centre in Bartons Road, West Leigh.

We took about a barrow load of the blanket weed 
out of the pond to give the product a good chance to work.

It worked.

Quite a lot of blanket weed turned yellow and floated on top of the water and was again removed with a rake, while that clinging to the sides of the pond simply turned black and has now disappeared.

Amazingly the duckweed also disappeared and we are using this product once a fortnight to keep the pond clear.

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