Although the weather is feeling decidedly chilly for the time of the year, during May the threat of frost will pass and, with spring well under way, David Coton is in no doubt that this is going to be a busy month in the garden.
All ponds need a ﬁltration system to keep the water clean, clear and healthy. As Dan Everton points out, stocking levels of fish are much higher in a garden pond than in the wild and, without a ﬁlter, impurities accumulate to create a toxic environment.
Mechanical and biological filters, together with UV clarifiers, will cleanse the water to create the best possible environment to encourage a thriving population of fish and plant life.
For ponds up to 10,000 litres, box filters are the best choice, they may contain a clarifier and can be biological or alternatively mecanical. If you prefer, some boxes can be hidden underground or you might choose a filter that can be immersed.
Pressurised units allow you the option of powering a waterfall or fountain and more expensive filters feature advanced technology, can handle larger volumes of water or offer functions that are labour saving and can significantly reduce running costs. These include self-cleaning systems and power saving devices that enable the UV filter to switch off when not required.
When choosing a filter, consider what is most appropriate for your particular requirements. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the filter’s capacity and the volume of water it can process. Remember that water should be circulated at least once every two hours i.e. a 2000 litre pond will need a filter that generates a flow of 1000 litres per hour.
Don’t forget that if you have fish, take into account how many and how large they are, as this can dramatically affect the specification that is required, as can factors such as whether you want the clean water to be pumped to fountains or other ornaments.
Also think about practicalities such as the ease of maintenance, perhaps a self-cleaning system is preferable. Running costs must also be considered, both in terms of the amount of power required and the durability and longevity of the product parts.
There is no doubt the range of pond filters on the market is daunting and can be confusing. Basic facts such as the volume of water, number of fish etc are vital components in making a decision, the rest is probably personal choice, preferably reinforced by the advice of a specialist retailer.
Dazzling with colourful interest in the brilliant sunshine, this year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will prove to be a tremendous attraction for everyone as it caters for both keen gardeners and families who just what a day out in magnificent surroundings.
After all the dry hot weather that much of the country has experienced over the last few weeks, the lavender in David Coton's garden is at its most colourful and scented, he's cutting the flowerheads to make lavender biscuits or drying them for pot pourri. Here are more jobs you can do in the garden during July.
At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding at our Garden Centre in Birmingham. David Coton will be planting the bedding in containers this month to achieve a wonderful display of colour and here are some other jobs to do in the garden in June.
As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.