safe grass/weed control at pond edge

sheltieponderJune 17, 2007

I inherited a pond with my home, with no instructions, but I'm learning. Somebody once took great care to build this pond, but the previous owners neglected it. I've been into the pond with my water shoes on to explore the way it is made (found a cool hideout thing - koi kastle?), and I love the "fish kisses" on my legs :) My four dogs think the pond is just one big bowl of drinking water - they will turn their noses up at fresh house water to drink from the pond instead. My pond is very clear with lots of goldfish (some sarasa? and lots of whites and mixed colors along with the regular orange fancy tail comets) and lots of hair algae that I clean out every week or so by twisting it around a small garden rake. I have plenty of plants (water lilies, dwarf cattail, parrot feather, water celery, etc.) and a skimmer/waterfall biological system. My problem is that I don't know how to get rid of the bermuda grass and invasive grass/weeds that grow up to the side of the pond. I have a wide raised rock edging around the pond, but the weeds and wild grasses still grow through the cracks and all over the edging rocks of the pond. They are next to impossible to pull out by hand, but I don't want to use Round-up because of the fish. Does anyone know of any safe natural way to kill grass/weeds around the pond? Thanks for any advice! Linda

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vmckague(Central Mo. Zone 5)

Linda, I use a home made weed killer that I found on the Internet. The 2 main ingredients are salt and vinegar. I use it around my pond with good result. Not great but just good. Haven't killed my fish as of yet and I have been using it for 2 months. If you want you can PM me and I will send it to you.
Vernon in central Mo

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 8:19AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

You can also try pouring boiling water on them. Or flaming them with a propane torch. My DH loves to flame weeds.

You can paint the Round Up on rather than spraying it. I've done this many times around my pond.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 12:33PM
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larryl(7 Southern Oregon)

I have used round-up within a foot of my pond with no ill effects. I am, however, very careful how I use it. I spray only with no wind, no rain in the forecast, and I am very careful to always direct the spray away from the pond. My pond also has a slightly raised rim, which means there is never any water drainage into my pond.

Round-up is very effective, and I don't think it is too bad from an environmental perspective. I'm open to informed discussion, if anyone disagrees with this.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 1:54PM
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sheltieponder

Thanks, Vernon, I searched the web for homemade weed killer using salt and vinegar and found 3 recipes - I used the homemade spray today in the 90 degree searing noon sun and the grass was already turning brown by 7:00. I worried about Round-up (painting it on is a good idea and torching the weeds sounds fun... maybe on cooler days) because while the rim is raised, the weeds and grass are all over the rim and if a stray afternoon thunderstorm pops up (which we get a lot in NC), then the Round-Up would wash into the pond. Thank you all for your suggestions.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 10:22PM
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tillertilter(5b)

I recently heard a negative article on glyophosphate, which is the active ingredient in roundup and those type products. Apparently research has shown that it lasts longer than advertised in soils and affects organisms of many types. There might even have been something about ground water contamination. Search on glyophosphate and see what you get. Though I will still use these products on occasion, it will be very limited, and NOT around the pond.

Hand pulling after rain, weed barriers, mulches, and careful plant selection of as many natives as possible are my preferred methods of weed control.

Please use any chemicals according to label directions and heed cautions. Use them sparingly, and be aware of not only where you are putting it, but also where it will end up.

Thanks!
-TT

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 11:52PM
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jalal(z3/Canada)

Invasive weeds can be a pain. Like the dandelions that have roots that go forever! I am constantly pulling dandelions and quackgrass out of my flower beds. I don't use any chemicals in my yard except for bone meal around the peonies and black bananas buried amongst the roses. The slightest breeze can blow chemicals into your pond and alot of them here anyways require that you wear old clothing, rubber gloves and don't let your pets outside for at least 12 hours if spraying roundup. I think my neighbor sprayed something along my fence line as my elder lost all its leaves. Maybe she was trying to kill the mint that she has along my fence line that I am constantly pulling out on my side of the fence. That stuff is really invasive!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 12:40AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

The most important thing in using any lawn and garden chemical is to read the instructions and follow them!

Far too many people don't or they double the dose per gallon thinking that they really want those weeds dead or whatever. It doesn't work that way and not measuring can lead to serious problems with the plants that are sprayed. Worse than what they were sprayed for....

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 6:39PM
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tmbrodman_yahoo_com

My husband is an agronomy specialist for a fertilizer company. I recently asked him about roundup for around our pond. He said they sell a roundup that does not have glyophosphate in it. Does anyone know of a weed preventer like Preen that can be used on the beach to prevent weeds?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 11:13AM
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