STRAW - WHAT
Barley straw is a natural non-toxic, inexpensive inhibitor
of floating algae in ponds and a stimulator of pond plants.
Barley straw has been used in Europe for centuries for
this purpose. It works by decomposing and releasing minute
but continuous amounts of hydrogen peroxide. Decomposition
of the barley straw in the presence of sunlight and oxygen
produces the hydrogen peroxide needed for inhibition of
new algae growth. Barley straw does not kill existing
algae (which will die naturally in several weeks), but
seems to prohibit growth of new algae. Each
package treats 500 - 1000 gallons (click Calculate
to compute quantity needed to treat your pond).
For existing clarity problems, use Mother Nature's Pond
Clarifier in addition to the straw bags.
The barley straw should be added to your pond in early
spring, one month before new algae is expected to appear.
One application can inhibit the growth for 6 months. A
new application should be applied after 5 months to ensure
continuous protection. When applied to cold water (less
than 50 degrees F), it may take 4 weeks or more for the
straw to begin producing the active chemicals that inhibit
algae growth. If the straw is applied to warmer water
(above 70 degrees F), it may become effective faster.
In any case, barley straw remains effective for approximately
six months after application. If algae starts to grow
on the bag, it is high time to replace it.
MUCH TO APPLY:
General recommendation is 8 oz. Per 1000 gallons of water
or 8 oz per 100 sq. feet of surface area. The amount of
straw to apply varies based on pond surface area as well
as volume. Add required amount of straw in the spring
and another application in 5 months. Less straw may be
required for the second application if you have attained
good results with the first application. In a pond with
a history of algae problems, a higher initial amount may
be warranted. For ponds under 800 gallons, 4 ounces of
barley straw should be used. Click here
to calculate how much barley is required for your pond.
It is best to anchor the straw packages with a rope to keep
the straw near the surface of the pond where sunlight and
oxygen are most prevalent and also for easy retrieval for
replacement. Apply the straw at several locations around the
pond, near a water source such as a waterfall or filter where
the water can flow through it. Straw may be placed inside
a non-pressurized filter or skimmer. Most algae production
occurs in shallow water, so the bulk of the control compound
needs to be located there.