Tetra have been innovators in the world of aquatics for over 60 years, and Ellie Goodall has been reading a research survey they have recently published proving that keeping a pet is good for your children.
A pond must have plants to increase bio-diversity, enliven it and add interest, and one of the best ways to fill a pond with plants is to use aquatic baskets, Here's Dan Everton's guide to achieve the best results.
A pond basket is specifically designed to allow water to enter the aquatic compost contained inside it and not allow the compost to escape.
The dimensions of a basket should reflect the eventual size of the plant as sizeable plants need large baskets to stop them falling over
I would also recommend that only one species of plant is used per basket, this is because one type of plant will always dominate and the others will suffer. You may notice pre-planted baskets that have various plant varieties, these are great if you want to decorate your pond quickly for a garden party or similar but eventually you'll find one of the plants will take over to the detriment of the others.
You will want to line the basket with a hessian or synthetic hessian liner. This allows water to get to the compost but stops the compost from leaching from the basket clouding your pond. Synthetic hessian will last longer than traditional hessian.
Fill your pond basket between half and two thirds with aquatic compost. You do not want to fill it completely as there should be room to top it up with gravel.
Next you need to create a gap in the soil for your plant to slot into. Carefully remove your plant from the pot.
Place your new pond plant into the gap you have created, surround the roots with soil and then top up the basket, leaving a gap for gravel. Adding gravel also stops fish from digging out all of the compost which is a common complaint from new pond keepers.
Gently water your newly planted basket, this will help to compact the compost down, you should be able to add a little more compost into the basket after this. You can now top the soil with gravel.
Your basket is now ready to add to the pond. One exception is water lilies, these will need to be lowered over the space of a few weeks, dropping slightly deeper each week.
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A full guide to pond plants.
Create a Halloween party in your house or garden with ideas and suggestions from David Coton that will keep your children and neighbours thrilled and spooked on the 31st October.
Looking for some advice on how to decorate your garden for halloween? David Coton has some great ideas to help you create a horror themed garden to scare your neighbours and any trick & treaters who come to your door.
To grow the biggest, scariest pumpkin in time for Halloween isn't easy as they take some time to mature and prefer a warm climate. To have the best chance of success Martyn Loach recommends sowing seed indoors during April and then planting out in late May or June.
Used originally to frighten away evil spirits, now placed near the front door to deter trick or treaters, carved pumpkins have been part of Halloween for a very long time. Here Martyn Loach explains the process of creating the scariest pumpkin in your street.