WHAT TO DO

Bird Watching (UK) - - August Id Challenge -

ADRIAN THOMAS RSPB wildlife gar­den­ing ex­pert It’s great that Matt’s pond is do­ing so well so far, but left en­tirely to it­self, it will even­tu­ally be­come noth­ing more than a damp hol­low – a nat­u­ral process known as ‘suc­ces­sion’. So, he needs to be bru­tal. When more than half the sur­face gets cov­ered by plants (and as the sum­mer goes on, the plants al­ready there will mul­ti­ply again and again), pull some out, and do the same with un­der­wa­ter plants. Get­ting rid of ex­cess growth also keeps al­gae down. It’s nat­u­ral for the wa­ter level to rise and fall dra­mat­i­cally in sum­mer, too, as evap­o­ra­tion and tran­spi­ra­tion speed up, but your plants will adapt to the chang­ing con­di­tions, mov­ing up and down the banks with the sea­sons. Wait un­til hatch­ing of lar­vae, of dam­sel­flies and drag­on­flies, for ex­am­ple, is over, and you’ll en­sure that your pond re­mains a wildlife haven for an­other year.

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