Saturday morning saw me on my knees with incredibly cold hands and arms, the reason? It’s that time of year when I have to prune back my aquatic plants and clean up my pond in general.
This year has been a little different in that there are a lot more plants than I normally have and a few are now well established.
This year also saw a real algae problem in my pond, hair algae mainly. I got on top of it eventually, but even now there are clumps of it matted on the plants. This all had to go. If no other reason I don’t want it coming back next year!
I trimmed the now finished stalks from this common Cattail (Typha latifolia) and checked the state of the actual pot, all good. As you can see in the images above there is already a good start on next years growth. I was considering snipping some of these but I don’t have any more pond baskets. I will need to go buy some more for next year then do some splitting and a move around in the pond. But for now everything is healthy so I won’t do anything drastic.
Also. In the above image you can see some Horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile). These have self seeded from another basket on the other side of the pond. I didn’t even notice they had flowered/seeded so I have no idea how they made it over there!
Then came my new pond lily. It didn’t flower at all this year but it’s still young and was given to me as a pup from another pond. This plant had masses of roots, I had to trim it up a little to stop it clogging up the pump. The majority is still on the plant so it will be ok over winter, but the pond won’t get overgrown.
So after cutting out some of the Water Hyacinth and looking at the Galingale (Cyperus longus), the tall plant just by the crane model, and deciding it doesn’t need anything doing yet. I may need to revisit this plant later on. I netted out some fallen leaves at the bottom and a quick check on my pipes and cables for issues and clearing out the last of the algae in the mini-pond at the top and with a collection of the rubbish and we are done.
Also… I saw this guy (Girl?) and its friend. The friend was unwilling to go somewhere I could get a good photo. I only saw it bobbing under the water and I just couldn’t get a well focussed image. With luck I will get some younglings next year? So far the fish have eaten all that I have found. That is why I built the top mini-pond.
This brings up a very necessary piece of advice when doing things in the pond. When lifting and replacing plants. Move the pots slowly and carefully! This is so any creatures in the way will move and not get hurt. You also don’t want to dislodge any soil from the pots.
One other thing is that no matter how careful you are when doing something like this you are going to kick up detritus from the bottom and it will cloud the water. This isn’t a problem in itself and won’t harm any fish or animals, just check the pond an hour or so later. If it’s not showing any improvement check the pump to see if its clogged. It should settle down in a couple of hours.
And two final things.
First off, do not wash your hands with soap before working in a pond. you may think you are doing the right thing by not wanting to transfer grease and dirt to the pond but the residue from soap can actually be more harmful to fish and other animals. If you do wash with soap then be really thorough in rinsing and drying. Alternately use one of these.
Secondly. Don’t forget to clean your hands and secateurs after working in a pond. Water plants can have a lot of potential diseases that you don’t want passing on to others.