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.
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.
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.