With over 1,000 official lakes in the United States and countless more considered to be ponds, it’s no wonder you have a home or business property that sports its very own lake.
While personal bodies of water are beautiful and fun to have, they also need proper maintenance to keep them that way or else they become overrun by algae and weeds.
If you do have a lake or pond covered from shore to shore in weeds, then here are some lake weed removal tips for you to try out.
DIY Lake Weed Removal
There are several options you can choose from to remove overgrown weeds from your lake or pond.
The severity of the lake weeds will influence which option you deem most suitable for the task.
Removal by Hand
The most cost-effective option of removing lake weeds is to do it by hand.
Removing lake weeds by hand is easiest when the lake or pond is not large. In fact, this option works best if you need to only take care of a smaller section of the lake or pond, or the body of water is roughly the size of a backyard pool.
You can remove the weeds by pulling them out of the lake bed or by cutting them with gardening shears or a sickle if you have one.
The only downside to this method is unless you also remove the root systems of the weeds, you won’t effectively control them, and the weeds will pop up again a week or so later.
Weed Removal Tools
Should the lake or pond be larger than what you can handle maintaining by hand, then a better option is to invest in a tool specifically designed to remove lake weeds.
Such tools are either manually operated or motor-operated.
Manual tools can be anything from a lake rake for weeds – which allow you to catch all the weeds and algae at the surface of the water – to the sickles we mentioned briefly earlier.
Then there are the motor-operated tools that reduce manual labor. Such tools are typically weed cutters very similar to weed trimmers you might use while cleaning up your lawn. Of course, the weed cutter is safe to use underwater, whereas, a trimmer is not.
Another motorized tool is a water pump that cleans up algae and surface scum.
Unfortunately, these tools offer only a temporary solution to the problem and require you to do weekly or bi-weekly maintenance on your lake or pond.
Another large-scale option is to buy and use a benthic barrier.
Benthic barriers are simply large sheets of fabric or silt you place on the lake bottom.
Once placed, the barrier will block out sunlight and prevent the weeds from growing due to lack of nutrients.
However, benthic barriers will also kill off any other vegetation that you have in your lake.
If you think a benthic barrier is a method you want to try, we recommend thoroughly researching how to safely and effectively use one. You don’t want to kill off the beneficial plant and animal life if you misuse a benthic barrier.
Also, benthic barriers are reusable, saving you an added cost later on if you ever have a lake weed problem again.
If you don’t like the idea of spending money on specialized tools or barriers to remove lake weeds, then you should consider dredging the lake instead.
By dredging, we mean digging up the top layer of soil on the lake bottom.
Dredging your lake will not only remove the top layer but also the weeds growing on it as well. You will also be exposing a layer of nutrient-poor soil, reducing the potential for new weed growth.
Herbicides also work if manual labor isn’t an option you’re willing to consider or don’t have the time for.
Good quality herbicides will target the weeds that are afflicting your lake and kill them off while preserving the rest of your lake’s vegetation.
However, to choose the correct herbicide you’ll need to know what weed you’re dealing with or else you’ll kill the wrong plants and make more room for the weeds to grow.
Some pest and weed control companies are licensed to use herbicides and can tell you which ones are best to use.
Also, make sure you are applying the herbicide in the late spring when the weeds are at their most vulnerable.
Of course, should the idea of using a chemical on your lake or pond not settle well with you, you also have the option of introducing animals or insects.
Animals like the grass carp and various insects are herbivorous, making them a great method of weed control since they will eat the abundant weeds and keep weed growth in check.
When picking a species to introduce to your lake or pond, you should first research the species already in it.
Make sure you know your state’s laws and that whichever species you choose is not an invasive species.
Preventative Care of Your Lake
The best way to maintain your lake or pond’s beauty and overall health is by tackling the problem before it becomes a problem.
Here are a few preventative care tips to help with controlling lake weeds.
If your lake is located on a farm, then your weed problem may be caused by runoff.
Farms often have an abundance of nutrients in the soil thanks to fertilizer and livestock waste.
Water will pick up the nutrient-rich soil and deposit it into your lack, providing the weeds with more food to grow off of.
The best way to take care of runoff is to plant a barrier of plants or trees around the lake, so any runoff is absorbed by the barrier instead of ending up in the lake.
Deepen the Lake
Many species of lake weeds like to take root in shallow banks where there is plenty of sunlight to reach them.
You can prevent weed growth by deepening the banks, so they drop off into deeper water. In fact, the shallowest parts of your lake should be 2 to 3 feet or more.
As soon as you see lake weeds cropping up in large bunches, you should start addressing the issue.
Don’t wait for the problem to become too severe or it can become so extensive it is not only time consuming but also expensive to remove the weeds on your own.
When Too Much Is Too Much
When push comes to shove, we suggest knowing your limits both manually and financially.
If your lake weed issue is so severe you don’t even know where to begin in tackling it, then we recommend hiring a professional service for lake weed removal.
Professionals will be able to assess your lake’s health and come up with a game plan to effectively control the weed population for you.
Our website allows you to search for any business you might need, so give us a try!