Greener Living

The Uses of Barley Straw in Ponds

June 25, 2018

There are various things you can do to help fight the growth of too much algae in your pond. One agent you can use is the barley straw. This can be very effective in controlling algae bloom.

Algae growth is a normal part of any water feature there is. However, excessive algal development can lead to algal bloom which is the worst case of algae growth. In a simple fish pond, algae can be deadly to the fish if not taken care of immediately. Luckily, there are many solutions available in the market. Barley straw is one of them.

There are a lot of algae control solutions available in the market. These solutions are called algaecides since they help control the excessive growth of algae in the water. Algaecides come in two different types; chemical and non-chemical. You can use any of the types however; the chemical based ones have more side effects than the non-chemical ones.

Barley straw is not just a component or various health foods like cereals and malt; it is also an effective agent to prevent the growth of algae. Although not approved by the EPA yet, it has been used in certain countries like England.
Through extensive research, barley straw has been proven to prevent algae from excessive growth. Although it does not control all of the algae in a certain water feature, it still helps since it is not harmful tot he aquatic plants and animals in the pond. On the other hand, the results of barley straw use in ponds are still inconsistent. Some studies are still in the process in US and UK to prove how effective barley straws can be when it comes to controlling algae growth.

In some cases wherein barley straw is used, the usual result is that the algae do not completely die off. Instead, the compounds that the barley straw releases prevent the growth of new algae in the water thus, avoiding algal bloom.
There are actually other types of straws that are being used in some parts of England and are tested to be effective in some ways. There types are oil, seed, linseed and wheat. On the contrary, not all of these are as much effective as barley.

Since barley straws are more effective in preventing the growth of new algae, and not really effective in killing existing algae in the water, it is recommended that they are placed in the pond right before algae start to develop. The best timing would be in the spring since the weather condition in this season is not hot and not suitable for algae reproduction. If the barley straws are put in summer for example, the growth rate of the algae can reach a very alarming rate and that will not be controlled by the straws.

Barley straw decomposes within four to six months time. So it is not placed once every spring. One option is to put the straws in the water on a weather that is not too hot which will be a bad reproduction period for algae. It is very essential to check if the barley straws have completely decomposed especially in the months of July to August. The absence of this algaecide can make algae flourish faster in the water feature.

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