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Algae and blanket weed will spread even more quickly under favourable conditions and can harm aquatic life living in the pond. There are hundreds of different varieties of algae that can cause a problem in ponds, from those that are suspended in water to others that spread across the surface in long fibres. Apart from looking unattractive in a pristine garden, blanket weed can lead to the deoxygenation of water with a detrimental effect on any pond life you may have.
There are many different symptoms of blanket weed, depending on the type of algae you have present.
The most common symptoms, according to the Royal Horticultural Society, are:
- A ‘pea soup’ effect caused by fine algae suspended in water
- Floating green scum
- Blanket weed or silkweed have dense growths of hair-like green strands that float under or on the surface, or cling to plants at the side of the pond
How to get rid of blanket weed
Given that blanket weed thrives in the same conditions as pond fish, naturally, homeowners create the right conditions for it to grow in most ponds.
The most natural and effective way to get rid of blanket weed is to remove it on a regular basis.
Each time the algae grows it takes with it organic waste and converts them into filamentous green growths in the pond.
This weed is actually purifying and cleaning out your pond when it does this.
As a measure of control, you can let it grow to its maximum potential then, with a stick or blanket weed brush, remove as much as you can.
Once you have collected everything you can, leave it in a pile right next to the pond for a couple of days.
This will ensure any wildlife accidentally picked up have enough time to get back into the water.
After this, the whole mess of weed can be thrown straight onto the compost heap where it will make excellent mulch for the rest of your garden.
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However, it has to be noted that even though this method is very effective, it is time-consuming and works best in natural wildlife ponds or understocked, well-filtered goldfish ponds.
Another option available is to choose a special algaecide.
This will only ever be a temporary solution, however, as you are killing the growth but not dealing with the actual root of the problem.
Technically, an algaecide is simple and easy to use, but always follow the instructions and make sure that it’s totally suitable for your pond and all the creatures inside.
This is perfect option for those with fish-free water features, or designer ponds where regular treatments can be easily administered.
Lastly, the final option is rather than removing or killing the blanket weed directly, you can get straight to the source of the growth.
Phosphate is a key element of blanket weed, so if you can remove or reduce this chemical you’ll be able to get rid for good.
Going straight to the source when it comes to getting rid of blanket weed is the best way forward and is a method suitable for all pond owners.
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