Q Every year my pond gets smothered in duckweed. I keep removing it, but it keeps coming back. How can I get rid of it without harming the wildlife?
A Duckweed (Lemna minor) has become more of a problem recently, possibly due to milder winters. Ponds that are shaded and filled with decaying vegetation are particularly at risk, so cut back overhanging branches and net the pond in autumn to keep leaves out. Regular removal of the duckweed with a net is the best course of action. It doesn't compete well with other floating plants, so adding water lilies is a good idea. Introducing some fish may also help. The carp family (which includes all goldfish) are voracious duckweed eaters.