Duckweed- Great but not Superman
I was telling a good friend about my current struggle with an algae invasion in several of my duckweed pools. He said I should blog about it. I said I need to overcome the algae before I blog about it as I am… ahem… a duckweed expert. He said that I needed to blog about it anyhow. So here I am, blogging about algae that has decided to decimate my duckweed population in four of my pools.
Funny thing is, I’ve got two other small bodies of water where duckweed is thriving, even in water that is only 1/2 inch deep. No algae. The only differentiator is… I don’t know. That’s the point. All have had manure tea added to them. All have had a bit of 20-20-20 added just for a little shot of phosphorus and nitrogen. My larger pools started off with healthy full crops of duckweed. Then production slowed and one day, I noticed a zig zagged line of demarcation running through my largest pool. Day by day, the line of separation widened and I began to see duckweed roots rising green to the surface of the water.
No, wait… duckweed roots are pale to white. What is this? Turns out, under a microscope, the duckweed roots were still white but tangled around them was thin, stringy green algae. Lots of it. A zigzag line has turned into masses of algae crowding out the duckweed. This has happened to all four pools.
I could use chemicals to kill off all of the above and start over but this is a challenge I can’t turn my back on. How to lend duckweed a hand and let it regain strength in numbers over its arch rival- algae? Will I have to resort to chemicals or is there a more organic approach?
Nothing I love more than a good science experiment. Stay tuned.