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Duckweed: Great but not Superman cont.

June 27, 2012

It’s been several days since my algae invasion in my duckweed ponds. My original reaction was to bomb the algae with organic or chemical means and hopefully save my duckweed. The next morning, armed with a list of potential methods to try to kill the algae and leave the duckweed intact,  I went to take samples to start my series of tests.  Low  and behold- the duckweed appeared to be winning the war! The pond surfaces were twice as thick with duckweed covering as the day before and algae masses were only seen in a few spots. I decided to take a “wait and see” approach. After all, if I get to where I’m growing out hundreds of tons of duckweed, it would be a lot tougher to administer treatment without side effects.

Several days later, I’m back to biting my nails. Algae is resurfacing in larger clumps in several pools. In two ponds, I am starting to see white die-off clustered areas of duckweed. That could be a result from something else going on. A friend suggested I flush those systems with fresh water to see if salinity might be an issue. It’s been pretty dry in our part of the country.  My water levels have dropped by a couple of inches. More water would mean less salinity and cooler temps for the time being. Will give that a shot.

As for the algae… I’ll add more water because of the evaporation issue, but have decided not to hit the ponds with chemicals or major inputs of any kind. There are lots of tadpoles and frogs in my ponds. I am going to let Nature take its course and try to learn a few lessons along the way. I tend to forget that there are always population shifts going on in ecosystems. Change is not necessarily a bad thing, unless you have a particular outcome that you simply must have. All I want is happy, prolific duckweed. It doesn’t have to be a mono-culture.  Maybe I should just harvest as usual, and use algae, duckweed, and all in my green mulch program for my tomatoes. I think my tomatoes would be just as happy either way. By the way, thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. You all rock.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2012 2:13 pm

    Hmmm… that one should work.


  2. June 27, 2012 1:41 pm

    Kudos for waiting and watching! Ma Nature knows what she’s doing, even when we’re not listening to her advice too well.

    Tam, I got a mail delivery failure when I responded to you. I’ll try again.



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