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Having just seen MD on Gardeners World extolling the virtues of using barley grass in ponds it is interesting to read the article in the May edition of The Garden magazine. I wonder what he thinks about the fact that the EU is considering adding barley to the list of biocides which would make it illegal to use It. I guess you're guilty until proven innocent where the EU is concerned. All will be revealed in September apparently. 


Not at all daft is our Monty - look how he's raised the profile of this 

for years now fishing pond owners have been using this technique to stop the dreaded blue algae which at one time a few years ago was a big problem ,many animals were killed drinking the water expensive carp were dieing in thousands and we were warned to keep children away from it the Barley corn works stuff the EU
Alan4711 Fisherman of yesteryear avavgooden

Geoff H and AT also advised barley straw for pond algae.   I don't see how a ban could be policed in private gardens and they're going to have to do some explaining to justify such a ban.


Everyone I know with a pond uses barleystraw and it really works; why do the EU want to ban it, does it poison something apart from the algae?



It's application of the same legislation that has caused many other products to be withdrawn from sale. Fundamentally, the rationale is that if it is to be used as a biocide then the manufacturers must submit it to a very expensive testing program that proves it is not harmful to the environment, i.e. it is guilty until proved innocent. It doesn't mean you won't be able to buy barley straw, just that manufacturers will not be able to  market it for that purpose. So it will be marketed as rabbit bedding or something like that (wink, wink) , and canny gardeners will be able to find lots of info on sites like this as to how to use it. 

Jeyes Fluid and Armillotox can no longer be marketed as soil sterilising treatments or winter tar wash for fruit and roses, but you can still buy them, same formulation, marketed for pot sterilisation, with plenty of internet advice as to how to use Armillotox as a treatment for Honey Fungus. 

Ah well, it all helps the employment figures in Brussels. 


Not really Goldilocks.  These policies and decisions are made by representatives of the member states on permanent or temporary secondment form their national civil and foreign services.  Locally hired staff are usually lowlier posts such as security staff and basic admins such as secretaries.   There's a huge foreign population in and around Brussels to service al the EU departments, embassies to the EU, NATO and Belgian government, lobbyists, NATO and SHAPE employees, World Customs organisation, European head offices of mult nationals, teachers for the EU and international schools and so on.

The upside is that you can find restaurants and shops catering for just about every cuisine in the world.


Sorry Obelixx, that was thoughtless comment.  I didn't mean to impugn the local Brusselaars.

I really meant to have a swipe at the bureaucrats in Brussels that cost a fortune and have carte blanche on expenses without receipts, and the nonsense of having decision makers flit from Brussels to Stasbourg and back monthly because France made sure that the original treaty had a clause insisting on it for no other reason than national pride, Absolutely rediculous waste of money. Reading the following article makes my blood boil!


I know Goldilocks, but they're Brits and Frogs and Krauts and all the rest, not just Belgians and teher's been a huge influx of eastern Europeans recently too and that has skewed hpusing costs a sthey put pressure on teh rehntals market.   All brings a lot of money too in spending power but not a lot of taxes.  Win some lose some and, of course, being in rented properties doesn't make sensible gardening and horticulture rules a priority.

obelixx wrote (see)

..... Frogs and Krauts.................

!!! ???  

I have seen some frogs in my pond, Perhaps they have come to check if I'm using barley straw.


Just using shorthand Dove.   Not xenophobic, obviously, living where I do.


It may be shorthand Obelixx  but so are lots of other  offensive terms and  I am surprised to see it used on here 


Didn't mean to be insensitive but I take your point.



Tootsietim-very good! 

Alan- I know someone who fishes and he said his local group just chuck in a couple of bales early in  the year. Problem sorted.

Barley straw works-end of story and stuff the bureaucrats. Interference fro the sake of it like so many other situations.

Just my opinion for what it's worth .. that's all.


Wheres the best place to get large clumps of barley straw? Surely there must be loads of it growing in farmers fields if I asked them nicely?


You could ask a farmer at harvest time - or if you know any farmers who keep cattle, they're likely to have some stored you could buy a bit.  Unfortunately most farmers now bale it into Big Bales, rather than the sort you can put in the back of your car.  Some still make the smaller bales and sell it via the sort of place that sells stuff for pets - most places that sell goat and chicken feed will sell you some barley straw.


Alot of this also has to do with £££. ie those companies who sell algae products for ponds, they lobby like mad, and try and get the cheap (working) alternative banned. 

Alot of EU policies are there simply to allow someone a licence to print money.. Look at all the vetinary products that have EU licences which cost a fortune, and are exactly the same as the human generic which costs pence, but the vet isn't allowed to prescribe those because someone has paid alot of money for an animal licence.

It's all about vested interests, at least like the "no reused jam jars", "no coffee grounds for slugs", "no selling cakes at school fairs" etc we can happily go on just ingnoring these daft rules.