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Should I cut cattails before I treat them? | Ponds & Lakes Q&A


Should I cut cattails before I treat them?

Should I cut cattails before I treat them?

Kevin – Boise, ID

At first blush, it seems pretty logical to cut cattails before treating them. But when you understand how the treatment works, it’s immediately clear: cutting first is the wrong way to go.

Here at the Pond Guy, we’re big fans of Avocet PLX Aquatic Herbicide. When it comes to eradicating cattails and other grassy plants, nothing does a better job. Avocet PLX includes a powerful surfactant that breaks down the waxy cuticle of the plant, allowing the herbicide to penetrate the stalks of cattails. The cattails then do the rest of the work, carrying the chemical treatment throughout the root system to kill the plant at its source.

Because cattails only use a small portion of their root system at one time, a single application of Avocet PLX should be allowed to work for a week or two before cutting the plants down with our Jenlis WeedRazer® or Jenlis WeedRazer® Pro Aquatic Weed Cutter. Occasionally, some roots will survive and send up new growth. When that happens, simply reapply Avocet PLX, wait an additional week or two, and repeat the process.

So, while it might be tempting to take out your frustrations and cut down offending cattails to remove the blight before treatment, take your time. The results will be worth the wait.

Pond Talk: Have you used Avocet PLX to treat your cat tails?

Avocet PLX Aquatic Herbicide

6 Responses

  1. How do you kill cattails when you have water lilies? Does the product you use kill them too?
    acmartry@aol.com

  2. How do you kill cattails if you have water lilies in your pond?

    acmarty@aol.com

  3. I was told if you cut cattails off 3 or4 inches below the water they would DIE. Is this true?

    • In theory it sounds like a great plan, but in reality, not a chance. If you were to cut the existing stalks down 3-4 inches below the water level, you would have to maintain that water level for a very long time. Your attempt at controlling the cattail will not be effective if the water level drops below their level. That being said, cattails have a very extensive root system. Even if you were successful at killing off those few stalks, the root system would still be alive, eventually shooting up new growth requiring you to start the process of cut and drown all over again.

      Treating cattails with an herbicide provides a chance to remove the cattails from your pond once and for all. Here at the Pond Guy, we’re big fans of Avocet PLX Aquatic Herbicide. When it comes to eradicating cattails and other grassy plants, nothing does a better job. Avocet PLX includes a powerful surfactant that breaks down the waxy cuticle of the plant, allowing the herbicide to penetrate the stalks of cattails. The cattails then do the rest of the work, carrying the chemical treatment throughout the root system to kill the plant at its source.

      Because cattails only use a small portion of their root system at one time, a single application of Avocet PLX should be allowed to work for a week or two before cutting the plants down with our Jenlis WeedRazer® or Jenlis WeedRazer® Pro Aquatic Weed Cutter. Occasionally, some roots will survive and send up new growth. When that happens, simply reapply Avocet PLX, wait an additional week or two, and repeat the process.

      -Missy

  4. how do I get rid of muck and more muck..Where do I began? We don’t have a lot of money..but would like to get something going so we can enjoy our lake..

    • For anyone who has ever gone swimming in a natural pond, you know what it’s like to step into it and feel that gooey muck between your toes. So what causes muck? What is muck’s purpose? How do you get rid of it? Hopefully the following will help you answer these questions so you can continue to enjoy your wonderful pond.

      What Causes Muck?
      Muck is caused from dying or decaying organics such as dead algae, twigs, grass clippings, fish waste, leaves, etc. Once these organics enter your pond, they begin to decompose and over time become muck.

      What is Muck’s Purpose?
      Muck undoubtedly is a food source. “A food source for what?”, you may ask. Muck contains high levels of nutrients that feed algae and aquatic weeds. As the muck layer grows, so will your problems with these aquatic nuisances. Muck can also be a breeding ground for leeches as they love to grow in the muck.

      How Do I Get Rid of Muck?
      There are a couple of things you can do to help not only get rid of the muck that is already there, but also help slow down accumulation.

      All-Natural MuckAway: MuckAway Pellets contain an aerobic natural bacteria that work to break down organic muck. This aerobic bacteria will turn muck into an odorless gas and will allow it to escape out of the water column unnoticed. MuckAway works so well that it can break down up to 5 inches of muck per year! It is also great at maintaining beach areas, shorelines and lake front properties.

      Pond & Beach Rake: Raking your pond with a Pond & Beach Rake is another way to help remove muck that is already present. It is also great at removing floating twigs and leaves in pond that would otherwise fall to the bottom.

      Airmax Aeration: Aerobic bacteria performs far better in ponds that contain a high level of oxygen. By adding an Airmax Aeration System you can ensure that your pond contains the highest level of oxygen. Aeration also works great to clear your water column of sediments, reduce the chances of fish kill, and eliminate thermoclines (temperature at the pond’s surface is different than the temperature at the pond’s bottom).

      Doing all of these things above will help you enjoy your pond to the fullest without having to play in the muck.

      -Missy

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