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.
With the weather warming up, May is a good time to introduce new life into your pond and complete any maintenance activities left over from the winter and spring. Dan Everton reviews the tasks that need to be undertaken this month.
With warm weather in prospect we can finish off any jobs left over from the spring and also prepare for the summer.
Netting should have prevented autumn leaves from falling into your pond but, if any debris or decaying plant matter has collected, it should now be removed with a net or a pond vacuum which will give the pond a spring clean.
If you have a UV filter pump, the UV bulb needs to be changed each year as its effectiveness deteriorates over time. Left unchanged it will become ineffective at eradicating suspended algae (green water). All types of pond pump should also be cleaned out to maintain optimum performance.
As water temperature slowly increases fish will become more active. Feeding can be increased and the type of food changed from wheatgerm based products to more proteinous fish food.
This is an excellent time to introduce new plants into the pond, using specialist planting baskets and aquatic compost, so they can become established before summer arrives. Sunlight increases the growth of algae in the pond so floating plants such as water hyacinth can be beneficial as they shade the water, think about deep water plants such as lilies or marginal primulas and marigolds to achieve a varied aquatic landscape.
Although you must be careful not to overstock your pond, add fresh fish by initially floating the bag in which they arrive in your pond for about half an hour. This will equalise the temperature and reduce the chances of the fish feeling any shock from a sudden change of temperature. Don't add too many at once and keep an eye on the fish as they adjust to a new environment.
With gardens becoming smaller, neighbours closer and roads busier, we all suffer from different types of noise pollution. But, as Andy Taylor reports, Forest have now come up with a new kind of fencing that minimizes this nuisance.
Although gardening activity in February may not be so frenetic as during the summer months, there's still plenty to be done and Spring is just around the corner. Nathan James Dodd suggests the jobs you should be tackling in the garden this month.
Dan Everton helps you look after your pond during the February with some tips on the precautions you can take to avoid the water freezing over, and advice on keeping fish at this time of the year.
Heating will be a deciding factor on the variety of plants you are able to grow in a greenhouse and the number of plants that can be kept over winter. Here, Robert Hall goes through the pros and cons of the different types of heating that are available.