The best lake weed control is smart cultural practices
Written by James Burns
- The best lake weed control is not aquatic herbicides or lake weed killers.
- The best lake weed control is not with mechanical harvesting devices or lake weed cutters.
- The best lake weed control is not with hand cutters and rakes.
- The best lake weed control is not with biological controls like Asian fish and strange foreign beetles.
Lake weed prevention
The very best lake weed control is to never give them a chance to become a problem in the first place! The best lake weed control, like the best disease control, or the best fire control, is prevention!
How do you prevent lake weeds? Simple, do not give them a start, and do not give them a place to start. If you never allow the introduction of exotic lake weeds, you will never have an exotic lake weed problem. Other types of lake weeds may grow naturally in your area, and that is where the “not giving them a place to start” part comes in. I am not talking about getting rid of your pond or lake, but about getting rid of the conditions which favor a lake weed control disaster.
Lake, lake weeds, lake environment
For any organism to take hold, it must first have a host, and second, a proper environment. If the environment is unfavorable, or no organism or host present, the chance of having a serious problem is just not present either. Think of your pond or lake as the host, lake weeds as the organism, and the condition of your pond as the environment. Obviously you don’t want to do away with the host, that is your lake. The organism, that is, the lake weeds are ever present, so you can’t do much about that, the only thing left is to deal with the environment, that is, the conditions of the pond or lake.
Modify the lake environment
Your goal as a pond or lake manager practicing preventive lake weed control, is to modify the lakes environment to favor the health of the lake, and to help it to become resistant to the invading weeds. This is done by using good cultural practices.
Lake weed control problems are a result of one of two things. Either the lake is overly fertile, and the weeds emerge as a result of the excessive fertility, or the lake is under fertilized, and the weeds grow as a result of the lake beds exposure to sunlight. In both cases, shallow water is usually a factor. Fertility, out of balance, is always a potential problem. In the majority of cases, lack of fertility is the problem.
Why is this? When sunlight reaches the bed of a pond or lake, it warms the soil, and activates photosynthesis in plant life existing in a more or less dormant stage. This encourages growth. If sunlight does not reach the bottom, growth is prevented. Pond fertility, when in balance, produces phytoplankton which shades the bottom by coloring the water.
To solve the lake weed problem, to prevent it from recurring, the fertility must be kept in balance. Monitoring and maintaining lake fertility is the primary tool for lake weed prevention.
See also: How To Fertilize A Pond Or Lake