Q: I’ve inherited an overgrown pond. How can I whip it back into shape?
Kent – Maurice, LA
A: Congratulations! You just purchased your dream property with rolling fields, lush green trees and a gorgeous lake or pond – or at least that’s how you remembered it when you signed the loan documents.
But once you move in and take a closer look at the situation, you realize that gorgeous lake is an overgrown nightmare. Believe it or not, this is not an uncommon scenario. Many new land owners purchase property with a lake or a pond only to discover it hasn’t been well maintained.
Of course, you want to reclaim that overgrown pond and turn it into a useable recreation or livestock watering area, but where do you begin? Check out these six tips for whipping your lake back into shape.
1. Evaluate the Situation
Your first task is to evaluate the pond itself and record what you find. What is its size, shape and depth? Is there an abundance of weeds? Can you find an aeration system? Are there fish living in the pond? Jot down as many details as you can, because they will be important when deciding what kinds of product to use to regain control of your lake. The more you know, the better.
2. Install Aeration
Next, install an aeration system. Aeration, which circulates oxygen throughout the water column, will go a long way toward improving the health of your pond while you regain control of the habitat and work to maintain it. Plus, your fish and the natural bacteria living in the pond rely on the mechanical water turnover to replenish the oxygen supply and remove harmful gasses like ammonia.
3. Identify Weeds and Treat Them
What weeds are growing in your pond? To help you identify the greenery and determine whether they’re beneficial plants or nuisances, check out The Pond Guy® weed control guide. Once you have the plants ID’d, you can then select the proper chemicals and the right amount to handle the job. Start treating the weeds with a suitable algaecide or herbicide once your aeration system is well established.
4. Rake Out Dead Debris
Yes, it seems like a tough job, but you will need to rake out and remove dead debris, like fallen leaves, cattails and other decomposing organic materials with a weed cutter and rake, like the Weed Cutter and Pond & Beach Rake. The hard work will pay off in the long run. The more large debris you remove, the less work your muck-destroying beneficial bacteria and aeration system will need to do – and the faster your pond will get back into tip-top shape.
5. Maintain, Maintain, Maintain
To keep your pond or lake on the fast track to being clean, clear and usable, you must keep up on the maintenance chores. Remove the years of pond muck buildup with natural bacteria or phosphate binder, like those found in Pond Logic® ClearPAC® PLUS pond care package. Continue to remove dead and decomposing debris as your herbicides kill nuisance weeds. Add pond dye for aesthetic appeal and to slow algae growth. Now that you have the overgrown pond under control, don’t let it get away from you!
6. Be Patient and Persistent
Despite your efforts, it will take time to reclaim your pond or lake – so be realistic about your expectations. Consider the pond’s age and the amount of debris it has accumulated over the years. If it took a decade or more for the pond to look it way it did, it will take more than one afternoon of hard work to make it pristine again! Be patient and persistent. You’ll have that gorgeous pond in no time.
Pond Talk: If you’ve purchased property with a pond or lake, what kind of condition was it in and what did you do to make it usable?
Filed under: Aeration, Algae Control, Emergent Weeds, Natural Water Treatments, Pond & Lake, Pondweeds, Water Clarity, Weed Identification Tagged: | Aeration, maintenance, pond care, pond cleaning, pond tools, weed identification