Using Barley Bales to Get Rid of Algae in Your Pond or Water Garden

ground hog trap barley balls fish water ponds 010 225x300 Using Barley Bales to Get Rid of Algae in Your Pond or Water Garden

Going “green” with your backyard pond this year can mean a cleaner conscience, and a cleaner pond!  Of course, no one likes a green pond, when the “green” we are talking about is string algae, and pond scum!  Aside from taking away from the aesthetics of your tranquil oasis, dealing with algae means constant additions of safe chemicals that won’t harm your pond plants and fish, and cleaning both filters and rocks on a regular basis.

After years of balancing the chemical ratios in several of the ponds that I oversee professionally, and struggling to keep algae under control in a few ponds that were constructed poorly, I finally made the switch to Barley Bales  Using Barley Bales to Get Rid of Algae in Your Pond or Water Gardenthis past summer, and I’m never looking back.  While I am always looking for cleaner and greener products, I confess, most often I’m just looking for a product that makes life easier!  Barley Bales are a long lasting, fish and plant safe, chemical alternative, for keeping algae out of your pond or water-garden.

How Barley Bales Work: Barley, more so than other hays and straws, gives off stable levels of Hydrogen Peroxide, when decomposing in water, and interacting with sunlight, and oxygen.  Hydrogen Peroxide kills new algae growth and creates a hostile environment for many types of biological sludge as well.  Bales give you up to six months of cleaning power before they start to loose their potency and begin to sink, after which time you can place the bale out to dry and work again later, or discard.  This greener method of pond cleaning has been used for hundreds of years, and appears to actually benefit fish colonies, and aquatic  plants.

What To Look For: If you are shopping for a Barley Ball, or bundle, I suggest looking for a reputable retailer firstly, who is required to sell you a solidly Barley bundle, without it being thinned with hay, which is less potent, but has some effectiveness.  Secondly, avoid very tightly bunched products, or those in a mesh or panty-hose type dispenser.  Waterflow is key both around and through your Barley product.  Meshes with tiny openings, and overly bundled balls will prevent water from moving through and producing the Hydrogen Peroxide you are looking for to kill the algae in your pond.

Bags Or Bundles: I suggest you look for bundles rather than balls for the simple reason that freshly dried Barley floats in water, and with balls, most of the Barley you paid for is bobbing in the sun, away from your precious pond.  What’s the point of a cute container for your Barley, if the Barley isn’t working for you?  Another point for Barley Bundles as opposed to Balls is this, Oxygen is key in both creating the Hydrogen Peroxide, and distributing it through the pond.  A flow of water around, and through your Barley bag will maximize the cleaning potential, and to this end, bags and bundles of Barley are easier to lay unobserved in a pump or filter box, and will have a greater effectiveness through your overall pond in those locations.

ground hog trap barley balls fish water ponds 012 225x300 Using Barley Bales to Get Rid of Algae in Your Pond or Water Garden

Prepping Your Pond For Barley: Yes, there is a little prep work involved in getting prepared for your newest (and future favorite) pond cleaner.  Sources do not agree on how effective your Barley cleaner will be with large esablished patches of Algae, so the best way to set yourself up for success is with a little prep cleaning.  Make sure to rake out, and otherwise clean up major algae blooms in your pond before setting your new Barley in.  Then, sit back and watch your Barley return the favor for months longer than chemical products ever did.

I highly recommend Barley products to homeowners, and landscape managers, as a natural way to cut down on unpleasant plant life in your waterfeatures.  Not only will it take some items off your weekly chore list, with cleaner filter boxes overall, but it will cut down on the money and time you spend with chemical additives!  The bonus with Barley is that unlike chemicals, which will follow a natural cycle of evaporation along with your pond water, the bundles remain in your pond, and are continually active for a longer period of time on average.

For a great read on Barley Bundles and Balls, check out this article titled The Truth and Facts About Barley Balls

Your Thoughts:  Have you used Barley Balls or Barley Bundles?  Did they work well for you in your pond?  Would you recommend them to your online neighbors?

About Amy


  1. Paralax says:

    To Ronnie Lim
    may be Amazon ?

  2. Stephen Teague says:

    but a small barley bale in a 600 gal water tank. Water turned blood red. What’s the problem?

  3. Jerry Cox says:

    When you speak of barley bails, are you saying just take a whole bound bale (held together with two twine lengths and throw the whole thing in the pond?

  4. Very interesting post thanks for sharing. Cute canine is clearly swimming or now not, in pictures evidently canine is just taking part in the water

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