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Barley Straw for Pond and Water Garden Treatment

Barley Straw for Pond and Water Garden Treatment

Barley straw pond treatments are effective as supplemental solutions for preventing and controlling turbidity in ponds. Barley straw offers pond owners an organic alternative to chemical products to manage water clarity and quality issues.

How to Use Barley Straw in Your Pond

Barley straw has been widely used for decades as a clarifier in bodies of water, including large reservoirs and canals. Researchers believe barley decomposition releases a by-product that improves water quality. Barley is safe for fish, waterfowl, and other aquatic life, and some studies suggest it benefits fish.

Are you considering natural barley straw in your pond or water garden? If so, you can choose from three different types of barley products: barley straw bales, barley pellets, and barley extract.

Barley Straw Bales

Barley straw bales should be loosely packed in a mesh bag before being used in your pond. Doing so will make it easy to contain and remove the bales at the end of the season and keep the straw out of filters. The Pond Guy Barley Straw Bales and Summit Barley Straw Planters come pre-packaged in fish-safe netting to keep them contained and easy to manage.

Place barley straw in the pond early in the year—around March or April, depending on your climate—so it can decompose and release beneficial compounds before water gets murky. One pound of barley straw treats a 100-square-foot pond for approximately six months. Keep the straw well-aerated and inoculate it with beneficial bacteria for best results. You can place them near your waterfall, aerator, or stream to ensure they get adequate exposure to air and moving water.

Barley Pellets

Compressed into a compact form, barley pellets contain the benefits of barley straw with less mess. They break down quickly, producing compounds that bind phosphates, buffer pH, and clarify water. Six pounds of barley pellets can treat an 800-gallon pond for up to six months.

Barley Extract

Also offering the benefits of barley straw without the cleanup, barley extract contains only the beneficial by-product in liquid form. Because you don't have to wait for the barley straw to decompose, it acts faster than pellets and bales and starts working on contact. An eight-ounce container treats a 4,000-gallon pond for up to three months.

Natural Water Quality Treatment Advice

Your best defense against poor water quality is a good offense. Keep your pond clean and balanced with adequate filtration and a thriving beneficial bacteria population. Plus, minimize fish loads and sun exposure to reduce your need for supplemental treatments.

If you have questions about the best treatment for your pond or water garden, we’re here to help. Contact our friendly pond experts for helpful advice at 866-766-3435.

Check out these related articles and guides for more information:

How to Clear Brown Pond Water
Muck Control
Using Beneficial Bacteria for Clear Water
Pondless Feature Maintenance

Last Updated: April 17, 2024