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Some large pond owners find themselves in a battle as pond weeds and algae attempt to take over their ponds. In spring and summer around most of the U.S. it’s not uncommon to see algae growing well on many waters and pond weeds growing below the surface.
For some time now, the most likely response to dealing with the problem has been to apply either an algaecide, designed to kill algae, or a herbicide which is often better for weed control. These chemicals can contain any number of things but copper is a common ingredient and because of this there is a growing trend to try and move away from such applications.
Environmental awareness is building each year, and with it, pond owners are looking at other options besides chemicals.
One particular tool that’s become popular is the lake rake.
Lake or pond rakes come in different shapes and sizes and most have long handles or rope tie lines that allow for easy retreival of the rake. The teeth on the rakes are normally longer than a standard garden rake and in some cases they may project off both the top and bottom of the rake head. Float attachments are available as well to make them more effective on floating algae or pond scum. By removing the float the bottom can be dragged to remove loose plant and algae material.
They’re very simple to use. Just toss the lake rake into the pond targeting amongst the algae growth and then pull the rake and the accumulated weeds back in to the shoreline. The removed plants can then be put in a wheel barrow or other transport to move them away from the pond.
A lake rake should not be confused with a pond weed cutter which is also another tool that’s growing in popularity.
As the name implies, cutters are intended to remove rooted weed growth at the bottom of a pond . They’re similar in that you throw the device out into the water but then allow it to sink and begin pulling it back in. As it’s drug near the bottom of the pond it will cut through and sever any plants quite low on the stem. Along with the manual versions, there are powered, boat attached models as well. Once the pond weeds have been trimmed, a pond rake can then be used to remove the cuttings. So the two tools work very well together and are often marketed in this way.
Most manual lake weed rakes are fairly affordable with prices ranging from about $70 up to $130. Powered models such as a lake mower will cost up to several thousand dollars in some cases. So there’s a great savings with the manuall models although you have to provide the elbow grease to get them to work.
For those that are looking for a non-chemical option to algae and pond weed control a lake rake may be one of the better options. They have their limits, such as working best around the shoreline and in shallower water, but in many ponds this tends to be a trouble spot anyway so they may fit your needs quite nicely.
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