How to get and keep your pond healthy ready for summer
Good news everyone! Spring is on its way, winter has finally
ended and hopefully we will soon be seeing some sunny days, a little less rain
and feeling that itch to get out into the garden once again!
If you're anything like me, this time of year also means it
is time to do some maintenance in order to get your garden fighting fit ready
for the summer months, and one of the first items on your list should be your
garden pond - after all, this is the time of year when new frogs are coming
into the world.
So with that in mind, I have decided to give you a few
friendly tips to maintain your garden pond. How to prepare it for summer and
keep it healthy and full of life. Gardening gloves at the ready? Good, let's
bubbler and heater
Depending on where you live and the ecosystem of your pond
you may have installed a heater and a bubbler over the winter in order to keep
your fish alive. Don't forget to remove it now that the weather is getting warmer.
The first step in any pond maintenance of course is to
remove any debris from the pond. Over the winter, chances are good that you
haven't been doing this, so now is the time to do a thorough clean out.
Grab those big bits of debris such as fallen leaves and
sticks, but it is also worth using a skimming net to get the finer debris. A
skimmer net will have finer holes that a regular pond net, so it will pick up
even small bits of debris, hence improving water clarity and allowing more light
into your pond. Additionally, here's a handy guide to using
your garden hose to remove debris.
And for bigger ponds, consider using a pond hoover (like
this one) to gently remove excess silt and debris from the water. These are
well worth the investment and will help to keep your pond nice and clean.
Next, you should check the health of the water by measuring
the PH levels, ammonia and nitrate and nitrite levels. The correct levels will
again depend on various factors, but there are plenty of guides for measuring
one q and a that may help.
If the levels are off, or if the water is particularly
dirty, it may be worth partially changing the water in the pond. Emptying and
replacing around 30% of the water in the pond should be sufficient and safe.
You can use your regular pond pump to pump the water out of
the pond, and then a regular hose and bucket to fill it back up.
Before adding water to the pond though, you should use a
water conditioner, which will remove the chlorine, ammonia and any other nasty
chemicals which might harm your fish or your plants.
Just a note here. Pond water is very nutritious, full of
nitrogen and other nice things that your plants will love, so after double
checking based on what plants you have, feel free to use the excess pond water
to feed and water the plants - they will thank you for it come spring time.
Next, you should have a look at your pond pump -
particularly if it has been turned off over the winter. As a minimum, take it
out and check the inlet for debris or a build up and plants, soil and general
A good clean out will keep it functioning well, failure to
do so may cause slowed water flow and even burn out, which will cost you a new
pump and cause a drop in oxygen levels in the pond. Here's a YouTube video to show you
Finally, don't resort to harmful algae treatments which will
use nasty chemicals. Instead, get a natural pond treatment which contains
friendly bacteria. It's just like one of those yoghurts, but for your pond and
will keep your ponds ecosystem healthy and algae free.
If you follow all of these tips, you will never need to use
chemicals, your pond will be healthy, full of life and the water will stay
clearer than ever before.
Thanks for reading, and good luck with your pond maintenance
Abbey and I have sucessfully completed Level One with Quantum Savvy Natural Horsemanship.
I am currently still able to access Parelli through a friend who is a member and hope to be able to use that learning platform for as long as possible though they are unfortunately stopping shared memberships as I understand it.