After the recent spell of hot weather, David Coton was glad to see the recent rain freshening up the Garden Centre and he has these suggestions for some of the jobs that need to be done during August.
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.
David Coton was recently invited to the exclusive launch of Grange's new products for 2018, the result of significant investment that the garden structures and fencing firm have received from their Polish parent company.
David Coton suggests that there are plenty of gardening jobs that need to be done in November, from why you shouldn't throw away your fallen leaves to how to take care of your vegetable patch.
In October, David Coton is getting the garden prepared for the onset of colder weather but, at the same time, the arrival of spring bulbs in the garden centre is a reminder that you should also now be planning ahead for next year.
At GLEE this year David Coton visited the VegTrug stand to find out how their specially designed space saving planters can encourage us to grow more of our own food without the use of pesticides.