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.
During the winter months your pond will invariably get covered in ice. What should you do? Dan Everton's guide to keeping your pond from freezing over in the winter will provide the answers.
Although over winter fish and amphibians will survive under a frozen surface for some time, ice traps gases escaping from decaying material and prevents oxygen from entering the water. Snow cover also cuts off light, preventing plants from producing oxygen.
To stop this happening, it is always a good idea to try and clear snow off the surface of the pond if possible. Always take care when doing this and never stand on the ice.
All of this will clearly have a detrimental effect on animal and plant pond life. The answer is to either heat the surface of the water or aerate the pond so that movement of the water deters the formation of ice. And don't forget, if you make sure that a portion of the pond is unfrozen, birds will also benefit from this vital source of fresh water.
Pond Heaters will ensure that at least part of your pond surface will remain free from ice allowing oxygen in and letting harmful gases escape.
Oase IceFree Thermo Pond Heaters will ensure that at least part of your pond surface will remain free from ice even in temperatures as low as -20C, allowing oxygen in and letting harmful gases escape. Both 200 and 300 watt models come with 10 metres of cable.
The Bermuda Extra Power heater, will also see your pond through prolonged winter weather. It simply floats at surface level and employs a 300 watt heating element. Blagdon's 50 watt Affinity Ice Vent Pond Heater is suitable for temperatures as low as -10°C.
Hozelock market a 100 watt floating heater that will keep just the right area free of ice with minimum running costs.
Cloverleaf pond heaters are made from high quality stainless steel with a very efficient titanium element. They also feature a unique state of the art intelligent digital thermostat that will prevent burn out. Available in three sizes, 100, 200 and 400 watt, a complete installation kit is supplied.
Air pumps are an alternative to heaters and can be cheaper to run. Doubly useful, in the winter they can keep the pond ice free and during the summer will aerate the water reducing carbon dioxide levels.
Hozelock Air Pumps, the most powerful handling 4500 litres per hour, have a stylish weatherproof aluminium cage and their design allows the maximum diffusion of air into the water.
There are three Oase AquaOxy models, with 500, 1000 and 2000 litres per hour air displacement. Easily adjusted, these safe low voltage pumps are cheap to run and are suited to all pond types with each 'air stone' attached to a five-metre long air line.
Pontec PondoAir Sets have four air stones and a 1800 or 3600 lph capacity while there are five versions of Evolution Aqua Airtech Pumps that range from flow rate sof 70 - 150 litres per minute with an impressive maximum operating depth of 5.5 metres.
The Blagdon Pond Air 1 is designed for ponds of up to 2250 litres, the 4-watt pump giving an air flow rate of 210 litres per hour. The more powerful Air Pump 2 is for up to 4500-litre ponds and has two 8 metre lengths of air line and two 50mm air stones but still only consumes 5 watts with a maximum flow of 330 litres per hour.
The same company also produces powerful Koi Air Pumps for water to a depth of 3.5 metres with 8, 12 and 18 air stones and maximum flow of 25 litres per minute.
If you require any help or further advice, you can contact the Aquatics Department at GardenSite on 0121 355 7701 or email email@example.com The department is open to visit 7 days a week.
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.