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How Barley Straw Helps Ponds

Barley straw has been used for hundreds of years to combat algae in ponds, lakes and waterways.

Barley Straw

With warm, moving water and sunlight, Barley Straw increases the biological filtration of the pond, which in turn becomes an organic algaecide in reducing string algae and plankton (the thick, pea green soup looking water). It doesn't affect the growth of other aquatic plants and is totally harmless to fish. It takes a while for barley straw to become active, so start them early in the season and you'll have better results. Barley straw takes about 3‑8 weeks to become active.

To apply, simply tie a string to each bale and attach a rock at the other end and place it in your pond with the bale half way up in the water so it can get good circulation. You can also add it to the top of a water fall or anywhere where there is good water circulation. The bale will slowly decompose and will be effective in combating algae for approx. 6 months. For those who live in warm temperatures year round, you can add another "dose" of barley straw bales to your pond after about 5 months and remove the old ones about 2 months after that, thus overlapping doses of barley straw. This will ensure you a continual treatment of organic algaecide from your barley straw and you won't have to wait the 3‑8 week period before the new bales become active (For those who live where there are harsh winters, place your barley straw bales in your pond once the ice melts so you can get a head start on reducing the algae blooms.) Place your barley straw in your pond when water temperatures are about 5 ‑ 10 C° (or higher) so they can start to become an active algaecide early.

One thing you want to make sure of is that the barley straw bales you buy are organically grown. This is very important! What this means is, you want to make sure that the bales are void of any harmful chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, etc. while the barley straw was growing and before it was harvested or else you will be putting all of those chemicals in your pond and your fish and other aquatic life may die because of it!

Barley Straw extract is also available, a natural product which you can simply add to your pond to help with water quality and algae control - click here for options