Nature's cure for chemical free algae control
Barley Straw does not kill algae, it just slows the growth of algal cells without effecting higher plants, fish, frogs, snails, turtles and waterfowl.
When is the best time to start using barley straw?
Barley straw is an algae preventative. It is best to start putting it in the pond before algae starts growing rapidly. What is the second best time to put barley straw in my pond? When you really need it. When the water is pea green and/or green scummy stuff is floating on the top. It will take longer to work if there is already an algae problem, but it will work in a few weeks. When algae are already a problem, the straw will prevent new algae from growing but you will have to wait for the existing algae to die of ''old age'' which is usually several weeks.
It is believed that the barley straw’s high lignin content provides a food source for beneficial bacteria that block the growth of algal cells. So, it does not kill algae, or anything else. It merely blocks the growth and multiplication of algae cells.
A good rule of thumb is to use one half pound of barley straw for small ponds up to 1,000 gallons, and one full pound for ponds up to 2,000 gallons. It is difficult to overdose barley straw. Doses up to 5 times the recommended dosage are not harmful in any way. In small ponds, dosages greater than 5 times the recommended rate may make the water tea colored. For large earthen ponds, use 6 barley straw bulk bales per surface acre, regardless of depth.
How often do I need to apply barley straw?
Re-application of barley straw is generally required after three to four months of warm weather use.
Example 1: If you put your pond straw in in March, replace it in September, since all six months were warm.
Example 2: If you install your pond straw in July and the weather turns cold in September, that straw will last those three months and should be replaced before the cold weather of fall and winter set in. Leave current bags/bails in through the winter and replace in the following spring.
The best position to place the barley straw is where the greatest volume of water will come in contact with it. Or, if you have a waterfall, anchor it at the bottom of the falls. If that is not suitable, anchor it at the most narrow point above the falls. In large earthen farm ponds, place barley straw where the entire barley straw bulk bales or bags are used, place the bales/bags around the pond in shallow water, in no more than 3 feet of water and secure in these depths with an anchor or a cord leash pegged to the shore.
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