Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Spring is Here and So Is the String Algae in the Pond
I got my pond cleaned much earlier than usual this spring.
And the string algae also showed up sooner than I would have preferred.
I think that this type of algae is very common in the spring, but some years seem worse than others. 2011 is definitely a year for string algae.
Pond owners shouldn't panic when this happens. In the picture provided, the algae really looks gunky and yucky, but it will not stick around forever! As it gets warmer, it will decline.
There's not much one can do with this algae, except remove it manually. It's awfully difficult to do with your hands because of the slime, but you can get a large net or brush, attach it to a long pole, and then try wrapping the algae around the brush as you rotate the pole. Once you've captured a fair amount, try lifting the pole out of the water.
Is there a use for string algae, pond scum, sludge, or slime? Yes. Pond scum is a living, growing thing, with plenty of organic matter -- especially if you have fish in your pond. You can use the muck and scum as a compost for your nitrogen-loving vegetables. Vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and chard will like the stuff, indeed.