Low Water Through the Winter Could Reduce Aquatic Plant Abundance
Though last year’s drought caused many hardships, there may be one small perk that shows this spring and summer; fewer aquatic plants in shallow water. This is caused by freezing and drying over the pond bottom exposed to the air due to low water through the winter months.
Many kinds of underwater plants will not survive this overwinter freezing, and once water levels come up in the spring, these plants will not sprout and grow. Algae or pond moss may take the place of the rooted underwater plants if plant nutrient levels are high, though algae blooms are many times short-lived.
If having a clear, weed and algae-free pond is very important, this may be a good year to try a pond dye to control algal growths.
The dye reduces light penetration to reduce all plant growth. Blue and black colors are available, with the black dye resulting in a more natural appearance. Apply early in the spring (April) and follow label directions for best control. More dye may need to be added if rains dilute its concentration.
If there are no spring rains and ponds continue to be low through late spring or early summer, moist-soil and terrestrial plants may sprout in this drawdown area. These plants will help to create clear water once rains fall and ponds fill.