This spring and summer I have been waging battle with the algae and weeds in our pond out back. It’s a pretty good sized pond – about 75 ft by 100 ft or so. I really wanted to make it fit for swimming this summer, but have not had total success. We have never had much of a problem with algae and weeds in the past two years we’ve lived here, but this year is a different story. First came the algae that multiplied so fast I could hardly believe it. It was like a layer of thick mucous across the top of the water. My husband and I were using rakes to skim it to the shore and then scoop it out. We would make a little headway and then come back the next day or so to find it worse than before. At one point it covered the whole pond! That was when we made our first trip to the pond supply store. The guy there really knew his stuff and confirmed that scooping the algae out was our best line of defense, but also sent us home with some algaecide to slow it down. We applied the algaecide according to directions and continued our skimming and scooping. It was hard work, but turned out to be a very good workout and I got a pretty good tan (believe it or not that is me tanned in the picture – the rest of me is even whiter!) which were a couple of added benefits. The worst part was getting the algae that was out of rake reach. My husband had the brilliant idea of tying a heavy string to the end of one of the rakes. The string was about 12 ft long so we would fling the rake out and it would land on top of the algae which was thick enough so the rake wouldn’t sink and the prongs would grab into it. Then we would pull the string steadily to bring the rake back in with a big glob of algae attached. It worked great, but we still couldn’t reach the algae in the middle of the pond – even when we waded out waist deep in the water. Well, I shouldn’t say when ‘we’ waded, because it was only me who waded out – Steve refused to go out further than the top of his rubber boots. It really was kind of gross! The bottom of the pond is a really mucky sludge and not at all pleasant. On top of that, you really get nervous about what you’re going to find down there. The house that was here before ours was leveled by a tornado and quite a bit of debris ended up in the pond. We’ve pulled quite a bit of aluminum siding and roofing shingles out of there over the years. You really have to be careful about stepping on something with a nail sticking out of it or a piece of jagged metal or something.
Look at the big piece of metal siding I got today! The pond
has evaporated a lot over this hot summer so I can reach where
I have never been able to reach before. Usually the pond comes
up to around where the tall grass line is.
Anyway, back to the algae. Our solution to getting the algae out of the middle turned out to be a fun addition to the pond. We decided to buy a Peddle Boat. It took a bit of teamwork to have one person peddle and the other sit on the back with the rake, but we eventually got all the algae out. After we cleared the whole pond, it would come back around the edges for awhile, but that was pretty easy to keep up with if I went down there to scoop everyday and then pretty soon the algae disappeared. I didn’t have much time to celebrate though because right about that time, the weeds started exploding. I don’t know what kind of weeds they are, but I call it witch’s hair because it grows up from the bottom of the pond and floats around the surface and when you pull it out with the rake it looks like green and brown witch’s hair.
The weeds didn’t stop me from swimming in the pond, but it has been an ongoing battle keeping up with them. I felt like I was winning until we went away camping for a week and returned to find them out of control already. I still rake them out every once in a while, but I am tired of doing it every day or two, so I’m just living with the weeds. So, I guess the weeds are winning! I am the only one swimming in the pond anyway as nobody else finds it very inviting. What a bunch of weenies! They call me the swamp lady. Ha! They do use the Peddle Boat every once in a while though, so that’s something. Oh well, weeds or no weeds, I’m still swimming in the pond, so I guess the weeds didn’t totally beat me!