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Re: Ponds-Elimiating Bullrushs

>Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 22:21:57 -0500
>From: Linda or Jim Lemke <llemke at kusd_kusd.edu>
>     It's getting to be pond season and I'm wondering if any plant
>which I am also) would cross over the line and help me  kill off
>bullrushes(and a few cat tails) that are over taking my 50ft  dia. natural
>pond here in southern Wisconsin. The pond is stocked with largemouth
>bass(they usually spawn every year), several koi and channel cats . The
>is 15ft deep(use to be 20ft)  at the center and has clay sloping sides. I
>use a product called "aquazine" to control algae. 

I'm not very experienced with ponds, but I'd try hard to avoid using any
simazine-based product in my pond.  You may be unintentionally creating a
condition where only the bullrushes and cattails can grow, partially with
the simazine.

>Some "stink weed" still
>grows but the scum algae is usually not a problem and as long as I treat
>pond several times a year. 

One thought that might work well, depending on where you are, would be to
possibly add some duckweed or salvinia to your pond, or even Water
Hyacinth.  In a northern clime, this might be acceptable.  I assume that
your pond drains into a natural waterway, so you definitely will want to
provide some way of containing anything you add to the pond.  My Barry
James book lists Duckweed as a cosmopolitan plant, so it may be native to
your area.  It will still require harvesting, but should be easier to
harvest than the bullrushes and cattails, and will help keep the algae in
the pond down as well.


>     I know most of you are into aquarium plants but maybe someone out
>can give me some guidance on how the get rid on them or at least keep them
>under control where I want them( right now I don't want any-a little clump
>OK but I think with a natual pond you can't have any or there will
>out of controll..  Thanks for any help. Jim Lemke llemke at kusd_kusd.edu

There are probably several factors involved in your cattail/bullrush
growth.  I remember from reading a National Geographics article on Lake
Okechobee and the Everglades that cattails and probably bullrushes also are
mainly found in areas with a high nutrient concentration.  If there's a way
to limit the amount of nutrients in the water that drains into your pond,
this would probably be the fastest way to limit the growth of these plants.

From my experience, the ponds I've seen that have the least problem with
algae and marsh plants are those that are surrounded by unmaintained land.
When I say unmaintained, I mean land that doesn't have cattle on it, and
that isn't used for agriculture or fertilized.  I suppose land with a low
soil nutrient content would work too, but that puts you in a position of
possible erosion and pond silting due to loss of vetetation.  I think that
just fertilizing very infrequently might work okay, and then doing whatever
mowing needs to be done to maintain the appearance.

Duckweed, and perhaps water lilies might be another useful addition to your
pond.  If you're in the south, cyprus trees might be a good addition as
well.  Cyprus add a significant amount of tannins to the water, making life
very difficult on the algae and on cattails too, I think.  In the south,
you might go to a local lake (Texas has Crockett lake a few hours from
where I live) and see what aquatic plants grow wild (vallisneria in
Crockett).  In the north, I assume there are similar aquatic plants that
grow in rivers and lakes nearby, but I don't know what any of them are.

Rice might also be a nice choice, since it is a very heavy nutrient

Shade is another important consideration.  Willow trees might be useful if
you can contain them.

If you have livestock grazing near your pond, and their droppings are
getting into the pond or are part of the runoff going into the pond, you
may not be able to control either the algae or the rushes.

Make sure that anything you plan to add to your pond is approved by your
state's laws.  Generally, most indigenous plant life would be no problem.

David W. Webb           Corporate Business Systems
Texas Instruments Inc.  Dallas, TX USA
(972) 575-3443 (voice)  MSGID:       DAWB
(972) 575-4853 (fax)    Internet:    dwebb at ti_com
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