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too much barley straw in pond

OK - here's what happened. I dug a pond in my front garden.. an area that gets 14 hours of bright sunshine every day. I do not have fish or anything else in it.
Almost immediately, it filled with blanket weed.

Meanwhile, in the back veggie garden, we had installed several bales of barley straw, thoroughly rotted down, to raise the gardening surface and help out my wife's bad back. They appear to be working just fine.
And then I read that barley straw is a great way to get rid of blanket weed.. and I figured that, if I put several bales in the pond, they would defeat the weed and allow me to plant bog-plants in the bales... win/win.
I did this - and, within a week, the pond water turned dark brown and smelly and developed a horrible-looking scum on the surface...
Turns out, this was the floating bits of straw rotting in the water...
I drained the pond and gave the bales a few days to dry sufficient to be able to haul their dead-weight out of the pond.
All but one were placed in the sun and the missus planted some tomato plant seedlings in them.
The remaining one went into the OTHER PROJECT.

We had been given a LARGE stock-watering pond.. about 8 feet across and 4 feet high.. heavy -duty black plastic. It was too tall for ducks and too big for me to dig a hole big enough to sink it in... so we decided to make a flower-bed/arrangement kinda thing, with a nice fountain in the middle and we took the one remaining straw bale and stuck it under the fountain in the duck pond.
and, of course, it has now begun to turn the water brown.. and develope a froth..

And we can LIVE with that...
The question is... can the water be used on our plants and will the straw residue be of benefit to them, if we use it?

Thanks to anyone with any advice...
tony

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Posts

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,490

    I'm not sure I fully understand... but you have a lot of water that has had bales of hay in for a while, now the water has turned brown and frothy and you wonder if it's ok to put the water on your garden.
    I would say that'll be fine - it may smell a bit ripe for a few days though

    If you want to use what's left of the hay on your garden, I'm sure that'll be fine too

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • mufngrufmufngruf Posts: 7

    yes - kinda... the straw bale is still in the "duck pond".. and still tainting the water.. that's ok... but I was wondering it the water was either beneficial or detrimental for basic plant/veg watering...
    I'll try to upload a picture...
    image

  • mufngrufmufngruf Posts: 7

    no - upload doesn't seem to be working.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,490

     there's a site problem with photo's today - should be fixed tomorrow

    If the water is brown and frothy it's likely to be fermenting and full of all sorts of bacteria and other bugs. It may have some benefit to your garden and wont do any harm.
    I think you need just a few handfulls of barley straw to help with algae.
    I used to use an old pair of tights (not mine I hasten to add) stuff some barley straw into a leg and tie the end and leave it barely submerged in a shady part of the pond.

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • mufngrufmufngruf Posts: 7
    Pete8 says:
    I think you need just a few handfulls of barley straw to help with algae.

    I used to use an old pair of tights (not mine I hasten to add) stuff some barley straw into a leg and tie the end and leave it barely submerged in a shady part of the pond.

    Yes, we're trying that now with the original pond.. fingers crossed.


    See original post

     

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,490

    Hope it works - good luck

    It'd be a good idea to get the straw out of the other pond and use the water on the garden otherwise the water will go stagnant and be smothered with files and really stink

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • mufngrufmufngruf Posts: 7

    the water is pretty well aerated.. it has a surface fountain and another on the bottom to refill the top one.. but I'll certainly watch for that, thanks.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,293

    Or you can buy an Extract of Barley Straw made by Blagdons... perfectly natural and fine for wildlife ponds etc.  We used it when our pond was new , and occasionally now if there's more blanket weed than the snails can cope with. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • mufngrufmufngruf Posts: 7

    yeah - I've looked at that too - but it is expensive (compared to a bale of straw..) and, with any luck, I can take handfuls off the duckpond bale if the two small bags in the pond don't fix the problem entirely.. or simply use the brown water to replace the Blagdons since it will be, in essence, extract of barley straw, right?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,293

    I suppose so image

    Our ponds not big enough to use enough barley straw to do the job. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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