Whether it's a bleak December or the more mild weather we are becoming used to, you can still spend useful time in the garden. David Coton suggests the jobs that can occupy the shortening days.
In this review Andy Hobson tests the Oase range of Pond Vacuum Cleaners, this includes the Oase Pondovac Classic, Pondovac 4 and the Pontec Pondomatic.
Oase currently have three pond vacuums available, two under the Oase brand and one under their economy brand Pontec. We're lucky enough to have access to all three, giving our customers a wide choice of these market leaders.
A net bag is used by all three vacuums. When you suck the water and sludge out of the pond it will go into your container and then drain out of the container through an outlet hose. The net waste bag is located at the end of this outlet hose and catches the debris but allowing you put the water back into the pond.
This is a great accessory as it allows you to put your matured pond water back into the pond but remove the debris at the same time, ideal if you don't want to refill the pond with tap water, a good money saver over time.
The Pondovac Classic is the basic pond vacuum under the Oase brand, it's very easy to use and comes with everything but the net waste bag which can be purchased separately.
The Pondovac Classic can be used for the pond, pool or as a general household vacuum with the paper bag provided. It has a waterproof switch on top for safe turning on and off, all the connections for hoses are push fit allowing for fast installation and tidying away after use.
Included with the vacuum is 4 metres of suction hose with four suction tubes which are solid extension tubes and push fit into one another and 2 metres of outlet hose. This can be extended with an optional Oase Extension Discharge Set. It's also provided with four different suction nozzles for different types of cleaning from an algae nozzle to a variable nozzle.
The 1400 watt motor has a 4 meter cable and provides plenty of suction for cleaning your pond but I would advise the larger Pondovac 4 if you have a large pond as it has a more powerful motor. To take the motor off to clean the inside it has two quick release clamps, these are tough but very easy to remove when you need to.
You'll have a two year guarantee from yhe purchase date on the Pondovac Classic so if the product fails due to a manufacturing fault it can be replaced.
The Pondovac 4 is Oase's luxury pond vacuum, this has a more powerful motor at 1700 watts which is 300 watts more than the Classic, so it's suitble for cleaning larger and deeper ponds. The power cable length is the same, 4 metres and the motor is removed via the quick releases clamps, so it's as simple to use as the Pondovac Classic.
The Pondovac 4 comes with a base on which to store your extension pipes. Wheels and an adjustable handle are provided for easy transportation around the garden.
There is a hand regulator which is good for shallow water and 4 nozzles similar to the Classic, but you also get the net waste bag with this model.
There is a 3 year guarantee, again this protects you against any manufacturing faults which may cause the product to fail.
So the Pondovac 4 is more expensive but you get a an extra year guarantee, the net waste bag, wheels and a handle for easy logistics, a longer suction hose at 5 metres, a longer outlet hose at 2.5 metres and a more powerful motor.
Last but not least, the Pontec Pondomatic. Oase's Pontec range of products still have that great Oase manufacturing quality but are marketing under this 'budget' brand.
The Pontec Pondomatic has a 1400 watt motor like the Classic and 4 metres of electrical cable. It comes with 3 suction nozzles, so one less than the Classic, but all the ones needed for use in your pond are with the product.
You also get your outlet hose but not the net waste bag which is the same as the Pondovac Classic.
The Pondomatic comes with a 2 year guarantee just like the Classic which means you're protected against manufacturing faults if the vacuum fails.
Although the days are short and the view from our Garden Centre is frosty and overcast, Andy Taylor suggests various jobs that can be done in the garden during the month of January.
Showcasing young musical talent, this year's Winter Concert at Arthur Terry School was an outstanding success and took place against the stunning backdrop of a Christmas Tree donated by GardenSite.
It was quite an honour for GardenSite to be asked to supply the Christmas Tree to Birmingham New Street Station this year, and to celebrate we're offering a Champagne High Tea to the winners of a seasonal selfie competition.
With Storm Caroline reeking havoc many people are likely to be contacting their insurance companies at some time regarding damage caused to sheds, greenhouses, fences and other garden property. Robert Hall explains how GardenSite.co.uk can help with an independent insurance quote and claim.