How do I use barley straw to get rid of algae?

During spring and summer months when the temperature starts rising and the sun stays out for longer you may notice that the amount of algae growth in your pond increases.

A simple method to help prevent this that you may not expect is STRAW. Specifically, Barley Straw.

How does barley work to remove the algae you may be wondering? Barley straw is used for the prevention of algae growth. When barley straw begins to decompose, it releases chemicals into the water that stunt the growth of algae, if used correctly.

The addition of barley to the pond will cause the decomposition of the straw and when this reaches a certain stage, will begin reducing the algae in your pond. This can take any time from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on a few factors. The most important factor is the temperature, in summer months where the temperature of the water is above 20°C the process is faster compared to the winter months where the water temperature is below 10°C. Once the straw starts to decompose and release it’s natural chemicals, it should remain active for a few months.

Barley straw requires oxygen to begin the process of decomposition. We, and many other pond keepers, suggest that the barley is tied in a way that it floats on the top of the water surface rather than below as this will allow it to aerate. Adding a pond pump to your water may enhance the effectiveness as the water is constantly being moved around in the pond, allowing the treatment to spread. Check out our handy guide for advice on the Best Pond Pumps For Your Pond.

What makes barley straw even better? It’s 100% organic which means there are no harmful or toxic chemicals being added to your pond and making it completely safe and environmentally friendly. This 100% natural product will aid in producing crystal clear water when added to your pond. Our PondRescue Barley Straw Bale comes with added lavende to enhance the process and provide significantly better results.

barley straw for ponds

When should I apply the straw to my pond?

You can add barley straw to your pond all year round, but for maximum effectiveness we suggest applying it before an algal growth starts. Spring is an ideal time as the temperatures are still low, simply add this to your spring-cleaning checklist.

How much Straw should I use?

Simply add 1 straw bale to ponds up to 1200 gallons (5455 Litres). Replace every 8 weeks in the spring/summer/autumn period. For persistent algae issue, add 2 bales per 1200 gallons.

Want more advice for getting your pond ready for Spring? Check out our Guide To The Pond Spring Clean .