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NFC: FW: Duckweed wars

FYI...a recent email discussion about duckweed mgmnt.

Hi James,
Firstly - duckweed should not be a problem - you can use it to talk down
price of the house knowing that with a little bit of elbow grease you can
have the pond looking fresh & clear in a few weeks!

Now to business...
Window screen could be OK, I once modified a lawn spring rake with it to
scoop up the small pockets of weed left over from the more major pond
skimming activities.
However you may find that the fine dernier mesh presents too much
& will slow down your paddling rate & creates too much drag -especially
full of pondweed. Don't underestimate the weight of a 6 foot hockey goal
full of wet pondweed & watch out for bending of the handle for your
Having the scoop in front of the boat is an excellent idea - perhaps you
could have two handles coming off the sides of your hockey goal & operate
your paddle boat like a front end loader. (A Duckweed Dumper!) This will
greatly strengthen the whole shebang.

I would recommend two approaches:
First a loose knit netting will do the trick as the duckweed will tangle
in itself & is pretty easy to scoop without a really fine net. (My first
duckweed skimmer clears weed with little more than a floating rope,
on the duckweed tangling with itself & generally bunching up around the
Once you've cleared the weed, like me you may find your pond now attacked
algae - this will go thru the holes in a loose mesh net & now is the time
for your window screen version

When I used my skimmer to trawl the weed into a corner, I just used a
to lift it out in great forkfulls. I then wheelbarrowed it to my
bins. Now its fertilizing my apple trees, & blueberry bushes & I'm
effectively eating it !
Pondweed & Algae make fantastic compost - There's a book called Lasagna
Gardening (I kid ye not!) which is all about using this type of stuff to
mulch down & provide nutrients for other stuff.
Make sure you separate out any dead fish from the weed & the compost will
not smell bad at all.
Probably the reason for the duckweed is the use of fertilizers on the
of the house. the runoff goes into the pond & the main beneficiary of the
fertilizer is the pond which has all the water it needs, plenty of
& warmth in the summer resulting in loads of weed, no oxygen & no fish!
can even use the composted pondweed to fertilize your lawn & garden &
you putting lawn fertilizer down which will only run off into the pond

I've not had a problem with seeds dropping off & germinating. There will
always be some form of plant life in there anyway so I leave my skimmer
the pond so I can easily & quickly spend half an hour & clear the surface
whenever necessary. As we speak I'm just about to do my first skim for
4 or 5 months (I pretty much finished around Christmas & this growing
has just started to have effects in the pond so its time to nip things in
the bud.)

Ducks do eat the stuff, but you need to make sure that they are the wild
type of mallard - the domesticated variety eat bread & scraps etc & end
not helping the situation. similarly there are a few varieties of fish
will eat loads of weed (and everything else) which can result in a pond
which is devoid of life apart from one bloody great big carp! so take
about sticking in animals to do the donkey work for you. If in doubt, Rob
Rice of the native Fish Conservancy Council (copied on this email) can
advise. (He & I put some fish fry & eel grass into my pond & now I've got
loads of native Florida fish & we regularly get grey & white herons
as a result of the large numbers of fish I've now got)

I'm sure you could treat the pond with chemicals, but this just starts a
vicious circle of treating & re-treating. My way is a bit more work, but
saves you money on chemicals & the fitness club!

If in doubt, watch the Red Green show on PBS or Junkyard wars on TLC for
ideas !
Let me know how you get on.
Duckweed Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: James D Rancourt <jamesd.rancourt at worldnet_att.net>
To: <baggers at gateway_net>
Sent: Monday, June 25, 2001 6:49 PM
Subject: More Go_____am Duckweed!

> Hey, Duckweed Dave, I am buying a house that has a 50 yard diameter
> probably  half a ton of Duckweed.  I happened to inherit a paddleboat
> the property. You may have seen them at for rent at water parks. 
> was thinking of making a 6' wide scoop made of Window screen, that
> attach to the boat.  It would ride about 3" below the surface, I hope,
> my kids could just "snow plow" the stuff up.  You might say it'll look
> a floating hockey goal.When they reach the shore the screening box
> emptied.  Think it'll work?
> Will the Duckweed just die when you bring it ashore overnight to dry up
> you just make a drag as you describe?
> Will seeds drop and regerminate with your surface rope method?
> I hear Ducks eat the stuff. Is that true?
> H
>     E
>             L
>                     P
> Jim