LEAST Favorite Plant Of The Month

I wandered the garden considering the "star" plant for July.  Is it the joyful Dahlia? 

 Perhaps the drought-denying Daylily?
Or the roses that have bounced back despite a tough spring? 
Or...
I realized that this month's obvious pick is not the favorite plant.  It's the least favorite.  The least favorite plant this July is string algae.  Hate, hate, hate string algae.  It's a weed for your pond.  I keep it under control by sticking a pole in the water and spinning it.  The filaments tangle around the pole and can then be pulled out of the pond. 
 I had to get into the pond Monday.  String algae had grown so fast, despite my twirling, the bottom drain became blocked.  This is what blocked it:  that solid wad of string algae.  Removing the wad meant getting into the pond and pulling the cover off the drain.  The cover protects small fish from getting sucked down the drain, and possibly larger fish from injuring themselves.  Koi are really good at injuring themselves. 


I had to empty the pond enough to be able to reach the bottom drain, clear out the drain, refill/dechlorinate the pond, restart the pumps.  Everything had to get done in a reasonable amount of time so the beneficial bacteria in the filters wouldn't die.  

I did it.  Wasn't particularly fun for any of us--me or the koi.  All of us were worried, for different reasons.  The koi were worried about getting eaten.  I was worried about fish poo, and the blocked drain, and being able to climb back out of the pond once I was in it, because it's fairly deep.  No stairs or ladder.  But I did it.  It was a hot sunny morning, and the pond water was--not warm, but tolerable.  Now it's done, and we're all relieved.
So feed us!  We're hungry!

 There is no need to think about a least favorite plant for August.  It will be string algae.  September?  String algae.  It will always be string algae.  The favorites?  They vary.  Check Danger Garden for some.

 I suspect the favorite plant here for August will be a Protea.   
Or two Proteas!
 We'll see.

Comments

  1. I love that agave and the pot!!

    String algae is a pain! Is there any zinc based anti string algae preparation out there? Usually that sorts them out and organic too.

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    1. The active ingredient in the recommended product here is:

      Poly(oxyethylene) (dimethylimino) ethylene (dimethylimino) ethylene dichloride. Whatever that is.

      Wondering what chem your products there use--will try to search for that. Do you know the active ingredient?

      The product is effective. The koi are spooked by it for a couple of hours or so, huddling together on the bottom, but then they are find and their ravenous appetite returns. I try to avoid chemicals, but sometimes I am desperate to keep the bottom drain from clogging. I wasn't aggressive enough and it clogged over the weekend. I won't forget this lesson!

      Isn't that pot great? Got it at a C&S show last week. Not sure it quite fits the Agave.

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  2. These string algaes are a nuisance, also here. But I could not help laughing when I imagined you in the pond surrounded by the koi, trying to climb out again. Wow, you are getting Proteas in bloom, so exciting. I once tried to grow them from seed in the greenhouse, but without success, too wet, too cold, not enough sun.
    Happy gardening!
    Janneke

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was never so glad there was a 6' wall around the pond so no one could see me in there in my underwear trying to get that drain cover back on. Oh, the bad words I used!

      I was laughing, too.

      The Protea flowers--soon, I hope. I check them every day.

      Happy gardening, Janneke!

      Delete
  3. Yep I can understand that. I love your descriptions of keeping Koi, I take it accident / injury prone Koi are standard.

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    Replies
    1. Koi are beautiful, lovable, dunces.

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  4. I concur with string algae hate. Why can't the fish eat it, right? Algae in general is pretty amazing, but such a nuisance! Looking forward to the protea blooms!

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    Replies
    1. I've read they do eat it, but not as fast as it grows!

      Protea watch is on!

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  5. Yes, I get string algae in my stream too, and I hate it. I used to have a pond, and I got string algae in that too. Looking forward to seeing those Protea flowers next month.

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    Replies
    1. The things we do for our gardens...and pets...

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  6. I'm sorry, did you say something about algae? I couldn't get past that Senecio, Agave, Yucca masterpiece.

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    Replies
    1. I could have just posted that one photo and saved myself a lot of work. ;^)

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  7. I've never heard of string algae. Yuck! The blue pot with the agave, though, is beautiful and the Protea buds are very impressive.

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  8. Koi are definitely beyond my abilities to keep alive. Two parakeets just about overtax me. So excited for your protea!

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    Replies
    1. Parakeets in the same house as kitties, that takes ability!

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  9. You need a partner for a project like that. Amazing what you can laugh your way through with the right pal by your side. The way you make us all laugh, it should be time for payback. Kudos for staying the course.

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    1. Something like that, I'm better off alone, where I can cry and cuss and no one hears.

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  10. I wonder if humans can eat it? String algae pesto, perhaps? ;) Anyway, saw this, and thought of all of you Californians... http://inhabitat.com/nano-water-chip-could-make-desalination-affordable-for-everyone/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Craftspeople make paper out of string algae. I've thought of trying that--I have plenty to practice on. Mostly it makes compost...

      Thanks for the link, very interesting! There's lots water in So Cal. It simply needs to be collected and purified and re-used rather than dumping it into the ocean. That will do until the nano-chip works.

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  11. Haha, hopefully the algae doesn't grow back too quickly that you have to clean it out very often. Sounds like a chore (but worth it for the pond). I love that picture above the proteas - the pot and plant are beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Oh, that algae. I think shade would help, but it would ruin the view out the kitchen windows.

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  12. I'm not a fan of string algae either! Fortunately it hasn't visited my pond this year, knock on wood! You've got a lot of beauties that didn't make the favorite list! Your agave/yucca photo is especially gorgeous!

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