Using Barley Straw to clear Blanket Weed

As Monty Don pointed out on a recent edition of TV's Gardeners' World, blanket weed is almost inevitable if you have a pond and barley straw might be a surprising answer to this problem...

Created by Andy Hobson (Alumni) on Tuesday, 29th of July, 2014.
Updated on Tuesday, 2nd of June, 2015.

When your crystal clear pond water becomes choked with what can only be described as green gunk, it's unsightly and, because blanketweed removes oxygen from the water, it will be detrimental to any pond life.

The Problem With Blanketweed

What causes Blanketweed? Monty Don explained that 'a combination of warm water, sunlight, and  nutrients from decomposing organic matter, provide the ideal conditions for the growth of algae'. 

Poor filtration and shallow water make matters worse.

Preventative measures can be taken. Your pond may be positioned where leaves collect in the autumn, so either relocate the pond or use netting to prevent them entering the water.  

Shade is important, make sure that plants such as water lilies cover 50% of the water surface, but don't forget to collect the dying foliage of aquatic plants before it falls to the bottom.

Ideally the water should be 3 - 4ft deep and not overstocked with fish. To prevent the build up of nutrients, make sure that filtration is adequate and well maintained.

During hot weather be careful when when you top up the pond with tap water as the chlorine can upset the balance of the pond.

How To Use Barley Straw

What Monty prescribed was a simple solution that would be a surprise to many. Instead of a chemical based water treatment, his 'magic ingredient' is barley straw.

First you have to clear as much blanket weed as you can using a net or a stick. Then place the straw in the water. 

Barley straw is available from aquatic retailers and can come in bales of barley strawliquid barley straw and pellet barley straw forms.

You'll need approximately 2oz of straw to 10sq ft of surface area (50gms for every sq metre).

The gardening guru then explained the process, 'as the straw breaks down it releases a chemical that inhibits the growth of the algae'. 

But don't expect miracles overnight. The effect can take over a month to begin, however your blanket weed will then be kept at bay for around six months.

As the hot weather continues, if you have never thought about using barley straw before, this might be the right time to consider this natural solution.

GardenSite also sell a wide range of Blanket Weed Treatments and Remedies for your pond including brushes and electronic solutions.

Related Articles

How To Prevent Your Pond From Freezing

How To Prevent Your Pond From Freezing

Although winter may be coming to an end, freezing temperatures are still predicted and Dan Everton from our Aquatics Superstore recommends using ice prevention products to safeguard your pond.

Author: Dan Everton

Written by Dan Everton.
Published on Monday, 22nd of February, 2016.

August Pond Maintenance

August Pond Maintenance

Although slightly disappointing at the moment, the summer may well heat up over August, and Dan Everton says this is a time when you must keep checking the health of your pond and aquatic plants.

Author: Dan Everton

Written by Dan Everton.
Published on Monday, 1st of August, 2016.

July Pond Maintenance

July Pond Maintenance

As on average July is the hottest month of the year, Dan Everton will be busy maintaining his pond to keep the water and fish in top condition. He also knows that safety, especially during the school summer holidays, should also be taken seriously.

Author: Dan Everton

Written by Dan Everton.
Published on Wednesday, 29th of June, 2016.

Get Your Pond Ready for a Garden Party

Get Your Pond Ready for a Garden Party

If you're having people over for a BBQ garden party and your pond isn't looking the best then follow this guide for some easy, quick ways to get it ready and looking neat.

Author: Andy Hobson (Alumni)

Written by Andy Hobson (Alumni).
Published on Monday, 11th of August, 2014.

comments powered by Disqus


View RSS Feed


Andy Hobson (Alumni)

former Social Media Co-ordinator

View Profile

Follow Us!

Recent Articles

Poinsettias Now Available From Our Garden Centre

Poinsettias Now Available From Our Garden Centre

With Christmas rapidly approaching, our New Oscott Garden Centre has just taken delivery of that most seasonal of plants – the Poinsettia. These are David Hall's tips on to how to keep these beautiful plants at their colourful best.

Author: David Hall

Written by David Hall.
Published on Thursday, 8th of December, 2016.

GardenSite Donates Christmas Tree To Hospice

GardenSite Donates Christmas Tree To Hospice

Our garden centre has been part of the local community for over 60 years, so when one of our partners, David Coton, received a request to donate a Christmas tree to a nearby hospice, he had no hesitation in helping them out.

Author: Robert Hall

Written by Robert Hall.
Published on Wednesday, 7th of December, 2016.

How To Choose A Real Christmas Tree

How To Choose A Real Christmas Tree

Many people believe that Christmas would not have the same festive feel without the scent of a 'real' Christmas tree. They're naturally fresh, giving off a lovely aroma, and here Martyn Loach gives advice on which ones to buy..

Author: Martyn Loach

Written by Martyn Loach.
Published on Tuesday, 6th of December, 2016.

Premier Christmas Lights

Premier Christmas Lights

There's a huge selection of Premier Christmas Lights, and it's no wonder why they are market leaders judging by the variety and innovation that's on offer. This is Andy Taylor's guide to their range of top quality lights and decorations.

Author: Andrew Taylor

Written by Andrew Taylor.
Published on Monday, 28th of November, 2016.