Frequently Asked Questions About Barley Straw
We have over 10 years experience in using and selling barley straw. We'd like to offer our knowledge and some practical tips in Question/Answer format below...
How to apply barley straw by type of pond...
Why buy from Doug's Barley Straw, LLC?
First of all, we love what we do. We love talking to our customers and working out the best solution for each individual situation. We take great pride in making sure each of our customers gets a quality product followed up by great customer service.
We are actualy farmers. We grow most of the barley straw we sell.
When you call, you are calling the cell phone of Doug or Julie. No 800 numbers or operators - you have direct access to Doug and Julie.
Can I buy large quantities / bulk?
Yes. We have tons (literally) of barley straw ready to sell. Call Julie at 419-409-0053 to ask about special pricing and shipping/delivery for large quanities / bulk.
How much barley straw do I need?
Do you deliver?
Yes. In fact, we love doing custom deliveries. Just give Julie a call to ask about delivery options and pricing.
When is the best time to apply the barley straw?
Because barley straw is more of a preventative method of algae control, the earlier the better. In Ohio, we usually put barley straw in our pond in late March or early April, before the algae normally begins to grow. Then in mid July we'll replace the straw and put in a second dose.
How do I put the barley straw in the water?
I have information on how to apply the barley straw below. It is organized by type of pond and I give my recommendations there. However, every pond is different and may require some creativity to make the barley straw work best per pond. There is no problem in tweaking my recommendations to make it fit the individual situation.
Are two doses per year really necessary?
We put two doses per year in our pond and that's what we recommend for optimal results year round. The barley straw works by decomposition and after a few months, the decomposition effects begin to wear off.
Can I buy extra and store it for future use?
Yes, just store the barley straw in a dry space and it will last for years.
Water Gardens and Ponds smaller than 10,000 gallons
Barley straw is very easy to apply in water gardens and small ponds. Most owners do not want barley straw floating around the water, so the idea is to contain the barley straw in a mesh bag. We sell a that will treat up to 500 gallons of water. This bag is very easy to apply because you can just open the box and put the bag right into the water. It is recommended to secure the bag to an area of the pond where there is the most water flow (near a filter or bubbler or waterfall), this will help the barley straw treat the entire pond.
Backyard Ponds larger than 10,000 gallons and up to 2 acres
My family has a 1/2 acre pond so we have the most experience applying barley straw in ponds of this size. There are many different ways to apply the barley straw, depending on your time constraints, pond structure, water flow, age, etc.
Here are the basic principles in applying barley straw in a backyard pond...
- NEAR THE WATER SURFACE is the best place for the barley straw. Barley straw works best if it is near the surface, for several reasons. First, algae typically only grows near the surface where it can receive sunlight. Second, there is generally more water movement near the surface so that enhances the effect of the barley straw. Lastly, it's easier to apply and remove if the straw doesn't sink very far.
- WATER FLOW is important. The more water that can move through the barley straw, the better. For example, the bales we sell are fairly dense (which is great for lowering shipping rates), but water will have a harder time moving through the bale to aid the decomposition process. Therefore, we break the bales down and put the straw into mesh bags before applying it. This enables us to get the most out of our barley straw.
- CONTAIN the barley straw in a mesh bag or something similar. You probably want to contain the barley straw so it's not floating around the pond. This is obviously not mandatory but aids a great deal in the appearance of your pond. We use and sell that can hold up to 8 lbs. of straw. For larger ponds, using mesh bags can become labor intensive so many people have used orange snow fencing, chicken wire fencing, etc, and have made long "logs" of barley straw. That can also definitely work well.
- USE A FLOTATION DEVICE. The barley straw will eventually become water logged and begin to sink. If you do not want the barley straw to sink, we would recommend putting a flotation device in the bags (milk jugs work great) or anchor the bags with a stake or tie them to something outside the pond.
- SPREAD IT OUT around the pond. Having all the barley straw in one place isn't as ideal as having it spread out more around the pond.
- CALL US if you have any questions on how to apply barley straw.
We have sold barley straw for use in many smaller lakes throughout the country. Barley straw tends to work better in smaller lakes (less than 30 acres). Many of the same principles applied to pond use can be applied in lakes as well. Of course, there are ways to simplify the labor portion for larger applications such as lakes. Call Julie for more information, 419-409-0053.
Golf Course Ponds
Appearance is big when it comes to ponds on golf courses. There are a few ways to apply barley straw in golf course ponds. Call Julie and she can answer your questions, 419-409-0053.
Wastewater / Water Treatment Facilities
Many wastewater / water facilities are turning to barley straw for their natural algae treatment method.
The recommended application process (recommended by the Ohio EPA) is to use orange snow fencing and to break the barley straw bales down into slices and make a long log with the barley straw. By laying the snow fencing out, you can line the middle (lengthways) with barley straw, add some flotation devices like milk jugs, and then tie it together into a long log. Most facilities will just "throw" the log into their lagoons and let it float near the surface. After a few months the barley straw will decompose enough where it will just fall through the holes in the snow fencing and you can simply pull the fencing out. This makes for easy application and removal.
Recommended dosage rate is 225 lbs. per surface acre.
For more scientific information, visit our page.
Call Julie for pricing and delivery/shipping information, 419-409-0053.
We have sold barley straw to a variety of different industrial water applications. Call Julie for large quantity pricing and information, 419-409-0053
Barley straw can be used in various other application types. Call Doug to see if barley straw might be a good method for you, 419-409-0053