Summer Ponds

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My pond…wow! It looks fantastic even if I say so myself… there’s been non-stop water lilies in flower – red, yellow and pale pink and loads of wildlife – red and neon blue damsels and big fat green-blue iridescent dragonflies that swoop across the water surface with their glistening shiny wings, just amazing to watch, ponds are fascinating so much going on that you end up engrossed which is what I love about them.

The reason the pond is so productive this year is because the summer has been so good with warmth and lots of sunshine. Water lilies need sunshine for the blooms to open, they close at night as it gets dusk and will open the next day but they only last for 3-5 days and then sink below the water surface, it’s best to remove the dead flowers so they don’t rot in the water which can cause an oxygen deficit and also any lily pads that go yellow. Don’t worry if after dead heading the old flowers and leaves there seems to be a thin film of “oil” on the water surface it’s quite normal as water lilies have a natural “oil” in them and quickly disperses ( it tends to be more noticeable in the autumn as the pond becomes dormant).

The other thing to watch out for at this time of year is that the oxygenating weed doesn’t get too thick, if you find that all your fish are swimming round the very edge of the pond it probably means the weed needs thinning! Aim for about half the deep area to be covered, the reason for thinning it is again to stop an oxygen deficit at night and leave the weed on the side by the pond over night to give any wildlife a chance to crawl back in to the pond and that goes for blanket weed – I’ve got loads of baby newts in my top pond so many in fact that I’m just leaving the blanket weed.

If you have a pump in the pond it’s best to leave it running all the time to keep oxygen levels up (for the fish and pond wildlife) especially when it’s hot and thundery and in those conditions it’s best NOT to feed the fish, they’ll be much happier – they require oxygen to digest their food which is often at low levels in thundery weather.

The other effect of this lovely hot weather is water evaporation from the pond, so it’ll need to be topped up ideally with saved rain water but practicality often means taps water, by spraying the water in you naturally get rid of half the chlorine in the tap water but if you’re having to top up a lot then it’s best to use a dechlorinator that you can buy from a pond product supplier. I know the hot weather means lots of watering but it does make the garden look great and I’ve had loads of BBQs – it’s great sitting out on a cool evening and SO little washing up!

Enjoy the Summer weather

Charlie

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