Posted on September 6, 2014 by thepondguy
Q: Do I need to cut the cattails before I spray them?
Charlene- Brandon, VT
A: Slashing through cattails would certainly be cathartic, wouldn’t it? Well, we don’t recommend it – at least not yet. The best way to rid your pond or lake of those nuisance plants is to use a systemic herbicide with a surfactant, like Shoreline Defense® and Treatment Booster™ PLUS. Apply the mixture on the plant’s leaves with a sprayer. The herbicide then kills the entire plant, rhizome and all.
Destroying that rhizome is critical to controlling cattails. Along with cottony seeds that explode from their brown, conical flowers, cattails propagate via their rhizomes, or root systems, which produce shoots in the fall that sprout in the spring. When you stop their underground spread, you can manage their footprint in your pond or lake.
If you’re new at removing cattails from your pond, here are some tips to make it hassle free.
- Treat the cattails between late July and first frost, when the plant is actively growing.
- Use a tank sprayer, like the Specialty Pond Sprayer, to apply the herbicide to the leaves that are growing above the pond or lake’s surface. Make sure they’re at least 12 to 18 inches out of the water.
- Completely wet the foliage for maximum results when rain is not in the forecast for 24 hours.
- Once the plants have completely died and turned brown, you can get out your Weed Cutter and slash through those dead stalks. Aim for the base of the plants, which will allow for easier removal with your Pond & Beach Rake.
Cattails aren’t all bad. Besides adding to the aesthetic value of your landscape, they also make a good home for a variety of birds, insects, amphibians and underwater inhabitants. Consider leaving a few of the cattails around for those critters – but keep the plant carefully controlled with Shoreline Defense®.
Pond Talk: Various parts of the cattail are edible, including its rhizome, young shoots and green flower spike. Would you ever consider harvesting and eating your cattails?
Filed under: Cattails | Tagged: cat tails, Cattails, control cattails, shoreline defense | 4 Comments »
Posted on June 28, 2014 by thepondguy
Q: When treating weeds and algae, why do I have to treat in sections?
Zahn- Cedar Rapids, IA
A: It’s all about the fish. Though it’s an inconvenience to you, treating your lake or pond’s weeds and algae in sections is critical for the health of your underwater inhabitants. Those herbicides and algaecides deplete the oxygen in the pond, creating a stressful environment for the fish. Partitioning the treatments keeps oxygen levels safe while minimizing the stress.
When combating weeds and algae in the summertime, remember these three things:
- Warm Weather = Less Oxygen: In the hot summer months, the water column will naturally hold less oxygen as it warms up.
- Chemical Treatments = Less Oxygen: When you treat the weeds and algae with Shoreline Defense® or Algae Defense®, the oxygen levels will decline in your pond.
- Decaying Matter = Less Oxygen:As the herbicide and algaecide start to work, the decaying matter will begin to be consumed by microorganisms, which use up the oxygen in the water.
All of these things create a stressful situation for your fish. When that happens, their immune systems could suffer, and they could develop and succumb to disease – which is something you don’t want to happen.
So while treating your pond or lake, break it into quarter sections. Then treat one section and wait 10 to 14 days to allow the water time to rebalance its oxygen level before treating the next section. Some other things you can do to improve the oxygen levels in your pond:
- Add Aeration: Aeration, like the Pond Series™ Aeration Systems, adds oxygen to the water below the surface. The oxygen is utilized by the fish as well as the beneficial bacteria and microorganisms, which break down the muck and detritus that feed the algae and weeds.
- Rake Away the Debris: As the herbicide and algaecide go to work killing the pond pests, take time to rake out the dead debris before it becomes algae- and weed-feeding pond muck. The Pond & Beach Rake makes the chore quick and easy.
Pond Talk: What kinds of spring and summer maintenance chores have you been doing so far this year?
Filed under: Aeration, Algae Defense, Cattails, Chara (Algae), Emergent Weeds, Fish, Fish Kill, Pond & Lake, Pondweeds | Tagged: Aeration, algae defense, Algaecide, chemicals, fish kill, herbicide, shoreline defense, spray, treat | Leave a comment »