Algae are a problem in many ponds in the Midwest. It is caused by excessive nutrients, specifically nitrogen and phosphorous, in the water. These are commonly found in fertilizers used on lawns and agricultural crops. When it rains, they run off of lawns and fields and into the stormwater management system, ending up in your ponds.
How do you fix an algae problem? We take a multi-tiered approach to the situation. If you have an area that collects water in rain events, a bioswale or rain garden could be the ideal solution. Creating a beautiful perennial garden of wildflowers treats the storm water before it enters the pond. Native plants adapted to these conditions will absorb excess water and damaging nutrients, plus add flowers and habitat for pollinators.
Planting wildflowers along the shoreline of your pond will reduce run off before it reaches the water. Deep-rooted native plants absorb excess nutrients, hold soil in place, and help cool shallow water where algae is most concentrated. By installing a healthy blend of flowers growing in the water and up the shore, you will see a reduction in algae blooms and mosquito populations. Native plant communities attract natural mosquito predators like green frogs, dragonflies, damselflies, and a multitude of songbirds.
If possible, eliminating phosphorus fertilizers in your lawn care program will go a long way to reducing algae blooms. There are many products available without phosphorus that are effective and readily available.
Chemical control of algae has its place in a maintenance plan, but we believe it should be the last option and then used with great restraint. We use non-toxic additives such as alum (aluminum sulphate) and pond dyes to lock up suspended nutrients and reduce sunlight penetration. Other tools include biological controls and physically remove unwanted plant material.
Our experienced staff is extensively trained in plant identification and ecosystem restoration. If you’re looking to reduce or eliminate algae, we want to talk you. Call or email us!