Vegetation removal is a key component of many pond maintenance plans. Often, the easiest way to do this is by simply using herbicides. But herbicides need time to work, so for ponds with a high water replacement rate they are often ineffective. So, what’s a pond owner to do?
Pond Weed Cutting
The best way to get rid of pond weeds when herbicides are not an option is manual cutting. Using a weed cutter can be very effective, although it is more labor-intensive. You will need:
Depending on the size of your pond, you may be able to cut the weeds from the banks, although in most cases, you are best off putting on a pair of waders and cutting from inside the pond.
Most weed cutters have a very long handle with a long, serrated cutting edge, and although they are generally safe to use, as with any sharp tool, improper handling can be dangerous.
How Do I Use the Weed Cutter?
The very first thing that you need to do is assess the size and depth of your pond, and ask yourself a few questions. Can you reach all of the areas in your pond that you want cut from the bank? If not, do you know how deep your pond is? Will waders be sufficient? If so, it is extremely important to check the depth in front of you as you walk. Some ponds have surprisingly deep holes that can be dangerous. If waders won’t work, consider a weed rake like the EasyPro Weed Rake that has a long rope, allowing you to throw the rake and drag it back, pulling up weeds in the process.
Before you begin cutting, make sure that all cords (such as for aerators) are out of your way. Nicking one of those could be a nasty shock! When you cut the weeds, it is important to start near the outflow of your pond. If you start at the head, you will find that you stir up the sediment, clouding the water and making it extremely difficult to see the weeds that you are trying to cut. Cut the weeds as close to the bottom as you can get to minimize regrowth. If you have a screen at the outflow point of your pond, it is important to clean it frequently throughout the process so that the water will continue to flow through
When the weeds have been cut, you will want to remove them from your pond. If they are left in the water, they will decompose. Not only does this create a foul odor, it also can exacerbate your issue by adding a lot of nutrients to your water, which helps weeds and algae to grow back much faster.
As the weeds collect at the bottom end of your pond, they can be pulled out with a rake. A landscaping rake will work in most cases, but a long-handled weed rake may be the preferred method.
It is also important to remember that although mechanical removal will significantly slow the regrowth of pond weeds, it will not completely stop it. This process will need to be completed at least once a year. Taking care of it in the spring/early summer can make your job easier, since the weeds won’t be as big or as abundant as they will be later in the year!