Barley straw helps keep algae at bay.
When using this type of algae treatment, it is imperative that it is organic. Straw that may have been treated with pesticides could kill the plant life and even the fish in the pond. It usually comes in a small "bale" that can be placed in the pond and weighted down by tying a string to a rock that is attached the the barley straw bale. As it begins to decompose, it creates and enzyme that helps to reduce algae.
How long does it take to work?
You won't get instant gratification here! This may take 4 to 6 weeks to really get going, so we recommend adding it in early spring. Adding it at the time of a cleanout is even better. While a bit of patience is needed, it pays off. Barley straw can keep a pond looking great all season long, because it lasts about 9 months!
Make sure you are adding the correct amount of barley straw for the size (gallons) of your pond. Directions generally come on barley straw that can be purchased over the internet.
Want to learn more about pond eco systems, check out our Ponds 101 page!