Spring Start-up Tips for your pond & lake

The days are getting longer, the air is feeling warmer, and that little spot of open water on your pond is growing daily. The spring season of renewal is here, time to get outside and start getting ready for summer. Prep the mower, till the vegetable garden. Most folks even know to clean out and prep their water features too. One thing is missing… Many of us overlook the opportunities that are now presented to us to effectively and efficiently manage our pond & lakes!

Tame those ‘tails- While the ice is still on and safe for walking, cut down and remove any unwanted cattails or other emergent vegetation. This is the easiest time to access these plants. Once removed, be ready to treat. As temperatures warm, the newly opened area allows sunlight to the ground where new plants are ready to spring up. Let the new weeds grow up a foot or so to allow enough green plant to treat efficiently, then spray them with Avocet. Be sure to use a surfactant (Cide-Kick) that will help to break down the waxy skin of the plant, as well as waterproof the pesticide. In the early growing season the pond may need to be treated bi-weekly to stay on top of the new plants, but as they die fewer and fewer will replace them.

Just Breathe- Getting the pond aerated as early as possible is essential for spring startup. Many people know that their pond stratifies in the summer, but do not know that the pond also stratifies in the winter. A layer of warm, geothermally heated water hugs the bottom as cold air temperatures can keep the upper portions cooler. The bottom layer quickly loses its oxygen content which is replaced by toxic gasses. The sooner the pond can be aerated and mixed the better. This will also help to eliminate that rotten egg smell that occurs when a pond naturally mixes later in the spring. Don’t forget! Check the aeration equipment over before installing; replace filters, stones, lights, etc. if needed.

A look to dye for- Even while the ice is still on, dye the pond. Aquatic weeds and algae get their start before the ice completely melts off. A heavily shaded water body will produce fewer plants, and will help to provide a clean pond during the early season when water temps are too low to begin treating.

Knock-out nutrients- Notice all that snow-melted water running into the pond? See all the brown silt and organics that it’s carrying with it? Those are algae and weed feeding nutrients fast-tracking their way into the pond’s bottom. While there is little that can be done to stop them from running into the pond, there are solutions once they get there.

50 is the magic number- A thermometer can be worth its weight in gold when timing an effective spring treatment plan. Keep track of the pond’s temperature, and as it passes the 50°f mark, begin using beneficial bacteria (Pond Clear), flocculant (Nutri-Defense), herbicides (Pondweed Defense), and algaecides (Algae Defense).

Nutri-Defense water clarifier will knock the excess organics and nutrients out of the water column and bind them on the bottom, rendering them useless to plants and algae.

Pond Clear Bacteria will go to work on the nutrients bound by Nutri-Defense. These hungry little critters will use up excess nutrients so that unwanted weeds and algae cannot.

Pondweed & Algae Defense are the perfect compliment to a nutrient controlled water body. It should be understood that chemical control is not the total solution to weed and algae problems; they are tools used to “touch up” sudden growths and blooms during the summer heat.

The biggest mistake that people make is not listening to their pond. Visit it at least once a week, especially in the springtime to see what it is saying. This “pond language” can be quite easy to pick up. See lots of plant growth? Are fish gasping at the surface? Smell rotten eggs at the pond? These are all signs that the pond is asking for help. A proper pond maintenance program will help to alleviate these symptoms, providing for a headache-free water feature and years of enjoyment.

As always, don’t hesitate to call with questions about your pond. We are here to help! Toll Free 888-766-3520.