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Ponds need care to remain healthy, too

By Phil Rucker

Cooperative Extension

As we welcome spring and warmer weather, weeds are showing their face in our recreational ponds.

Weeds are a natural part of the landscape whether in yards, fields, pastures or ponds. The ecosystem of a pond is usually stable, but fluctuations from weed overload or errors in controlling weeds can upset the balance and cause problems.

Weed control is a lot like going to the doctor. The doctor must know what is wrong before prescribing treatment. Same with weeds. There is no one product that cures every weed so we need to know which weeds we are dealing with. This helps to get a quicker more efficient control that can save money and not be harsh to the environment.

When planning a weed control program start early. Keep a check for changes in weed population, water color or fish activity. When you spot weeds or algae, the next step in control is to get a positive identification. If unsure, contact the Extension Office for assistance.

Once the weed is identified, the proper control method can be selected (mechanical, biological, chemical). When you treat at the right time, stage of growth, rate of product, etc., most weeds can be controlled.

Small changes can disrupt the ecosystem of a pond. Improper treatment practices can lead to an imbalance of oxygen, harm beneficial plants, environmental issues, fish kills and more. Proper management and weed control practices are imperative to maintain a healthy pond and keep the surrounding environment healthy.

For more information on pond management, contact Rucker, with the NC Cooperative Extension, Davie County Center at 336-753-6100.