A pond is an essential part of the garden landscape, and plants transform their appearance as well as ensuring a healthy aquatic environment. Dan Everton, our Aquatics Supervisor, shares his thoughts on the best plants to use.
Aquatic expert Dan Everton has this advice on how to maintain your pond during November, when the days are short, frost threatens and leaves are falling from the trees.
Your main problem as autumn bites will be leaves falling into the pond. Netting should already have been fitted, but it's never too late especially if you are adjacent to trees and hedges.
Before covering the pond, remove any debris with a net or specialist pond vacuum. If the leaves sink to the bottom of the pond, they will decay and release gases that are harmful to both fauna and flora.
Don't forget to also remove dead foliage from pond plants, tidy them and divide any that have become invasive. Protect any non-hardy plants with fleece before they suffer frost damage.
Pond netting is available in a huge range of sizes and colours. There's also heavy duty netting and, in addition to keeping leaves out of the water, netting will also deter predators.
Remove filters and pumps when the temperature dips below 10°C, cleaning before storing them for the winter. There's little biological activity in cold weather and the pumps might disturb fish and frogs residing at the bottom of the pond.
If you keep fish, then a pond thermometer will come in handy to decide what type and how much food is required. In low temperatures fish need less food and a lower protein product, undigested food will result in water contamination.
You should continue to keep an eye on water quality using a test kit, measuring the pH and checking for any build up of harmful nitrates.
Fish and frogs will survive under ice for a surprising amount of time if your pond is deep enough, but ice traps harmful gases and snow cover reduces the amount of light. So it's best to invest in a product that will stop ice from forming.
A pond heater or aerator will ensure that a portion of the pond is ice free, They are cheap to run and some are thermostatically controlled making them even more economic. Aerators can also be used during the summer to increase oxygenation.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, our New Oscott Garden Centre has just taken delivery of that most seasonal of plants – the Poinsettia. These are David Hall's tips on to how to keep these beautiful plants at their colourful best.
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