Keeping Your Pond Looking Pretty
A pond is a brilliant way of bringing life to your garden. However, ponds also do take a bit of looking after. If you already have a pond or are thinking of building one, here are some useful maintenance tips to keep it alive.
There are all kinds of plants suitable for growing in and around ponds. Rheums and Gunnera are great waterside plants, whilst lilies and primulas are the most popular water based plants. Stopping these from overgrowing and taking over the pond is important. Lillies can swiftly overrun a small pond. You should also keep on top of algae and blanket weed that will take over other aquatic plants.
Most people’s reason for buying a pond is to own fish. Most fish are very low maintenance. In winter you shouldn’t need to feed them at all as they should be able to live off algae. In fact, in cold weather many fish’s metabolisms slow all the way down and they can’t digest food, making it unhealthy to feed them (although many fish may still ‘beg’, which should be ignored). However, as temperature gets higher you will need to start feeding them more often, usually once a day, but several times a day in temperatures over sixty degrees Fahrenheit.
Keeping the water clear
On top of regularly de-weeding the pond, having a pump or filtration system in place can be handy for keeping the water clean and clear. Oase are one the biggest manufacturers of such systems and you’ll find suppliers of Oase products all over the web. Refilling the water every so often with a hose can also help freshen it up. You don’t have to remove frogspawn, although many pond owners do.
Winter can have all kinds of undesired effects on a pond. Fish are generally hardy enough to survive a pond freezing over on the surface, although you should allow some area for the water to breathe so that toxins can be released. Do not break the ice as this can be dangerous, sending shock waves through the water that can kill fish. Use a floating pond de-icer if you need to get rid of the ice. Many plants will still bloom in winter, although if you have Japanese Iris or Cardinal Flowers, it may pay to remove these and planted in the garden until the season is over.
Creatures of all kinds may try to steal your fish. Lilies can help give fish somewhere to hide, as can aquatic sculptures. You can also invest in methods such as the ScareCrow for spraying birds that may get too near.
Mosquitoes love stagnant water, which ponds ideal places for them to swarm and lay their eggs. However, mosquitoes hate moving water. Adding a waterfall or some form of filtration system that keep the water moving will instantly scare them off.
Aphids meanwhile can eat away at your pond foliage. Your best way of scaring these off is running a hose over them – they will drop off into the water and make a nice tasty snack for your fish.