Keep your pond healthy
In our increasingly urban landscape, ponds not only provide a place of solace and relaxation, but also a fantastic haven for wildlife.
Yet they are not as lowmaintenance as you might think, particularly in summer when it’s vital to strike and maintain a good balance to keep plants healthy and water fresh.
Blanket weed needs to be removed regularly by hand. Alternatively, slip a bamboo cane into it and twirl it around so a big clump comes out in one go. Leave it by the side of the pond for a couple of days to give the pond creatures in it a chance to return to the water, then you can add it to the compost heap.
Another common pond pain is duckweed. It has two small leaves floating on the surface and short trailing roots. If left to its own devices, it will soon multiply, forming mats that smother the pond; skim it off regularly with a fishing net.
In the height of summer your pond will be in need of oxygen, especially if you have fish, and you may well need to top it up to replace the water that’s evaporated. If your fish are at the surface gasping for air, spray the water surface with a fine shower from the hosepipe, it helps oxygenate the water faster. If you want to keep your water clear, it’s best to cover half the surface with enough marginal plants and water lilies, or other water plants. You may also need to install an small underwater pump, which will aerate the water. If the plants start to look untidy, deadhead and cut them as necessary.