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Algae in the garden


by Pippa Greenwood

Algae is harmless, but it's beginning to depress me. Its seemingly unstoppable spread is caused by the super-soggy weather we've had over the last few months.


Layer of green algae on garden paving stonesEverything, it seems, has gone green. I’m not just talking about the gorgeous shoots and leaves that are beginning to unfurl. No, I refer to the green film of algae coating steps, paths, stepping stones, flower pots, planters, benches, tables, chairs and the climbing frame… Even the compost and the foliage of some evergreens are covered.

Algae is harmless, but it’s beginning to depress me. Its seemingly unstoppable spread is caused by the super-soggy weather we’ve had over the last few months. The soil is saturated in many areas and, with rain continuing to fall, the air is pretty damp, too.

So, what can I do about it? Well, forking in the surface covering of algae on the soil will do the trick there. The algae on the trees I can ignore. (People do often sponge algal films off foliage, but as it isn’t actually harming the plant, I’ll leave it for the rain to clear off during the next heavy downpour.)

I’ll arm myself with a stiff yard broom and set to work on the steps, paving and stepping stones, though. In areas with no plants I’ll sprinkle a small amount of salt, which will help to keep surfaces clear.

I know I shouldn’t have left the furniture out over winter, but I’ll tackle it with a scrubbing brush in a few weeks. As for the climbing frame, I suspect most of the algae will find its way into the house on my daughter’s clothes!



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Gardeners' World Web User 23/02/2011 at 19:10

I agree, nearly came a cropper on some of our faux decking..... http://archers-at-the-larches.blogspot.com/

Gardeners' World Web User 23/02/2011 at 20:50

My five-year-old went base over apex at least six times in 10 minutes, crossing and recrossing the small area of decking that had become similarly green and slimy. In the end I attacked it with washing up liquid and a heart-rushing attack with a stout broom. Three months on it is still safe to tread.

Gardeners' World Web User 24/02/2011 at 08:34

Spray bleach on stonework. Kills it Deed.

Gardeners' World Web User 24/02/2011 at 10:13

Soda crystals work a treat and seem to keep paving/decking clear of moss and slime for months.

Gardeners' World Web User 24/02/2011 at 12:54

vinegar and washing up liquid also works i've been told.

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