7 Important steps gardeners can take for wildlife

Gardening is well documented to have positive effects to both our physical and mental health. Ideally the work gardeners do in their gardens should also have a positive outcome for wildlife and the environment. However, too often the need for the ‘perfect’ outdoor space results in out-striping these positive outcomes. The growing trend to lay artificial turf and paving means the hard slog at the hands of a lawn mower reduces health benefits and natural foods for birds and insects. So, lets look at how we can ‘buck’ modern trends and go back to focusing on our fragile environment.

You many well ask what difference your garden would make if you committed fully to supporting wildlife and the environment. Sustainability reduces carbo emissions.

According to ZSL.org, gardeners have created 2 – 3 million ponds across the country. These bodies of water are enjoyed by frogs, newts, water beetles, dragon flies, pond skaters and many other wildlife species. Ponds are an important source of drinking water for mammals and birds too.

Don’t bin – mulch and compost instead

Gardeners need to aim to pledge only to purchase peat-free compost or potting soil and recycle the bag it was sold in. Many garden nurseries take empty bags of compost to have them recycled as well as plastic plant pots.

Gardeners are encouraged to compost household green waste to dig the nutrients back into the earth

Create a ‘wild’ corner in your garden

Dedicate a ‘no-mow’ area in your garden to grow nectar and pollen rich indigenous plants such as cornflower, poppies and sunflowers. Sow seeds and let nature take over. An overgrown protected area will provide a perfect place for hedgehogs to hibernate.

Include a log pile for insects to make their homes in and offer a haven in the cooler months. Leaves left lying in flower beds will provide shelter to insects and small creatures that hibernated during the winter months.

Grow for pollinators

Plant nectar-rich plants that flower at different times of the year to support bees, butterflies and moths. These insects, which are in decline play a critical part in our ecosystem. Nectar-rich plants include foxgloves, wallflowers, Verbena bonariensis & heleniums (Sneezeweed) as well as herbs such as Rosemary.

Plant nectar rich plants in your garden

Gardeners are encouraged to follow sustainable practices

Avoid the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers as these affect wildlife and the delicate balance of our ecosystem.

Plant a hedge

Hedges offer shelter, food and nesting areas for birds, insects or small animals.

Build a pond

Wildlife will always be attracted to water. If the intention of your garden pond is for wildlife versus to home Koi or goldfish, be sure to include a beached area. The slopping edge will allow ease of entry and exit to your pond.

Feed birds

Feed birds only types of foods bought from reputable suppliers. Cheap fat-balls often have harmful fillers added to the suet which is harmful to birds.

What we eat and reducing the amount of food waste will also have an effect on our environment. Plan meals and the ingredients needed to reduce waste. Try buying foods from sustainable sources and from fair trade suppliers. We should also aim to cook as many of your meals as possible from scratch. Doing this is likely to also reduce the amount of packing materials destined to landfill. We need to ditch the notion that filling our blue recycle bins vs green bins is helping the environment – waste is waste and energy is needed to send to landfill or recycle into new products.

According to a BBC report published in September 2023, plants and animals that have been monitored in the U.K. since 1970 have declined by 19%. This trend paints a bleak picture for our countries wildlife. Doing everything we can for wildlife as suggested in this article and more can help slow the rate of decline. The Chief Executive of the RSPB, Becoy Speight suggested that restoring nature would also help tackle the climate crisis. A further decline in nature will have damaging consequences to our own lives.

Gardeners can really help boost biodiversity and help tackle climate change so lets get out there and do our bit!

Which is a low cost high quality pond liner?

Spring or autumn are considered the best months to build a pond. These two seasons allow for moderate temperatures and rainfall, which can help withy the initial filling of the pond and establishment of aquatic plants. It is best to avoid building a pond during extreme weather conditions such as freezing or heat. These conditions can make construction more challenging and may impact the success of a ponds ecosystem.

Choosing your pond liner

When choosing a pond liner consider facts such as size, shape budget and the specific needs of your pond.

In the UK, one of the most popular pond liners is EPDM rubber liners. EPDM brands such as Epalyn as sold by Liners Online are commonly used due to their durability, flexibility and resistance to UV radiation. Epalyn rubber liners are known for their longevity and ability to conform to various shapes and sizes of ponds. They are also considered environmentally friendly and safe for aquatic life.

Taking care of your Epalyn pond liner

Protecting your pond liner is essential for ensuring its longevity and preventing damage. Here are some tips to help you protect your pond liner:

  • Install a protective underlayer: Before laying down the pond liner, consider using a protective underlay material such as geotextile to provide an additional layer of cushioning and protection against sharp stones, rocks or other objects.
  • Remove sharp objects: Clear the area where you plan to install the pond of any sharp rocks, roots, or debris that could puncture or damage the liner. This will help prevent tears or leaks over time.
  • Avoid walking on the liner: Once the pond is constructed and filled with water, avoid walking directly on the pond liner to minimize the risk of punctures or tears. Use stepping stones or a board to distribute weight if access to the pond is necessary.
  • Monitor wildlife: Keep an eye on any wildlife that may visit your pond, such as herons, as they can potentially damage the liner while hunting for fish or other prey. Consider using deterrents or protective measures to keep wildlife away from the pond.
  • Check for leaks regularly: Periodically inspect the pond liner for any signs of damage or leaks, such as water loss or tears. Promptly repair any issues you find to prevent further damage.
  • Water level: Protect your pond liner by ensuring the water level remains consistent and in areas where winter temperatures drop below freezing, use a pond heater to prevent the surface from freezing solid, which could damage the liner.

By following these tips, you can help protect your pond liner and maintain a healthy and thriving pond ecosystem for years to come.

Steps to an aesthetically appealing garden pond

There are a number of factors that determine whether or not a garden pond will add value to your property. One consideration is how aesthetically appealing a pond is. But, what does an aesthetically appealing garden pond look like?

A pond that needs little maintenance is a strong factor to an appealing pond that is likely to add value. So too is one that blends in with the surrounding landscape and has good quality finishing touches.

Creating a low-maintenance garden pond involves thoughtful design and proper planning. Here are some tips to achieve this:

Choose the Right Location:

  • Build your pond where it receives the right amount of sunlight and shade.
  • Avoid areas with excessive leaf fall to reduce debris in the pond.
  • Locate in best view from every angle of garden and house

Select Low-Maintenance Plants:

  • Opt for native and hardy aquatic plants that require minimal care.
  • Consider adding plants like water lilies and submerged oxygenators.

Install a good quality pond liner

  • Install a rubber Butyl or Epalyn pond liner to prevent water leakage and reduce maintenance tasks.

Install an Efficient Filtration System:

  • Invest in a good filtration system to keep the water clean and reduce the need for manual cleaning.
  • Consider biological filters and skimmers.

Balance the Ecosystem:

  • Introduce beneficial bacteria to maintain a balanced ecosystem and control algae growth.
  • Include appropriate numbers of fish to help control insects and larvae.

Avoid Overcrowding:

  • Don’t overcrowd the pond with too many plants or fish, as this can lead to imbalances and increased maintenance.

Use Gravel or Rocks:

  • Cover the pond bottom with gravel or rocks to discourage the growth of unwanted algae and make cleaning easier.
Quaint aesthetically appealing garden pond design using railway sleepers and pebbles for the edging to secure the pond liner in place

Regular Debris Removal:

  • Install a net or pond skimmer to catch leaves and debris before they sink to the bottom.
  • Regularly remove debris from the water surface.

Mulch Garden Beds:

  • Mulch the garden beds surrounding the pond to reduce weed growth and make maintenance tasks easier.

Consider a Water Feature:

  • Adding a fountain or waterfall can help aerate the water and reduce stagnation.

By implementing these strategies, you can create a beautiful, aesthetically appealing garden pond that requires less maintenance, allowing you to enjoy the benefits without constant upkeep.

This entry was posted on February 2, 2024, in Garden ponds.

Garden and Pond Autumn Maintenance Tips

The leaves are slowly starting to take on orange hues and fall to the ground creating carpets of yellow, orange and browns. Autumn has its own special beauty as it draws the growing season to an end- a time to relax after a busy growing season! Before winter arrives, however there are a few essential pond maintenance tasks that need doing to both your garden and pond as discussed here. Investing time to maintain your garden pond will benefit its inhabitants.

Autumn garden tasks

  1. Tidy the edges to borders of flower beds – trim the grass, dead-head flowering plants (especially roses), remove weeds and cut back dead branches or stems. For those who love a tidy looking garden, the neat edges to flowerbeds and paving will distract from the grass being a little longer than it would be in spring and summer
  2. Plant bulbs for a vibrant display of colour in spring. Plant daffodils between September and October, tulips in November
  3. Give your lawn it’s last mow and spread an autumn fertiliser to add nutrients while also stopping the growth of weeds and moss. This is also a good time to lay new lawn while ground warm but not too wet
  4. Dig compost or well rotted manure into your flowerbeds to keep plant roots warm over winter
  5. Plant or transplant evergreens, shrubs, roses or hedging while the soil is still warm and is moist enough for easy digging. September to November is considered ideal for tree planting because roots can become established before the ground freezes over
  6. Move frost sensitive potted plants and tender perennials indoors or store in a greenhouse, garage or conservatory – it only takes one night of frost to damage more sensitive types of garden plants. If you don’t have a sheltered place to keep vulnerable plants over the winter months, make sure you cover them with garden fleece or bubble wrap to protect from frost and freezing temperatures. Water less to bring on a state of semi dormancy. Digging in an ample amount of compost mulch or leaf mould should protect other more hardy plants which stay outdoors over winter
  7. Clean garden equipment by removing all traces of rust. Store in a dry place to avoid corrosion
  8. Prune back deciduous hedges
  9. Rake-up leaves as often as you can. Leaves left on the lawn will block sunlight reaching the blades of grass, which may result in brown patches and moss growth. Make leaf mould from the fallen leaves. This will make a soil improver or nutrient rich mulch in which to grow seedlings. Leaf mould can be make by creating a separate leaf heap. The fibrous leaf mould retains moisture and enhances soil drainage. A leaf heap can be constructed using chicken wire and log posts allowing air to circulate. A leaf heap should take a year to rot down
  10. Clean and cover or store garden furniture. Leaving it uncovered could encourage a green mould growing on it which then means having to do a tougher cleaning job before using the furniture again when the weather warms
Autumn leaves covering the lawn

Pond maintenance tasks

  • Neaten overhanging plants by pruning back to reduce foliage falling into your pond
  • Use a skimmer to remove debris before sinking to bottom of pond
  • Reduce amount of food you feed you fish as they become less active as temperature drops
  • Remove any sludge build-up from the bottom of your pond – without disturbing hibernating pond inhabitants

Autumn is also the perfect time of the year to build a garden pond in your garden. Wildlife will love you for this addition to your outdoor space.

And, with every job having the right tools to hand helps get things done more effectively and efficiently from keeping flowerbeds weed free to skimming off the leaves from your pond and adding them to your composter. Autumn garden and pond maintenance are essential to the health of both plants and inhabitants of a garden pond.

This entry was posted on September 15, 2023, in Garden ponds.

How to help your pond adjust to changing climate

June 2023 has gone down in history as the warmest on record. For those who were lucky enough to spend those sunny, dry days on the beach will cherish the fun memories the month provided. But for garden enthusiasts and wildlife, the heat and lack of rain had devastating effects. The changes in climate are also having a distinct impact on our ponds, lakes and reservoirs (greatly affecting farmers too!). We need to be mindful of these long dry periods and steps we can take to help our ponds continue to thrive. It is also intense periods of rain that can also have profound effects.

We always advocate lining man-made water features with rubber pond liners because they are resistant to UV rays and don’t go brittle nor crack during adverse weather conditions. The superior quality of Epalyn and Butyl pond liners are guaranteed to keep your pond water-tight provided they are installed above a geotextile liner to prevent sharp stones tearing the liner.

Let’s look at other steps we need to consider to protect ponds and wildlife during periods of extreme weather.

Garden ponds help combat climate change

According to Mike Jeffries, Associate Professor in Ecology at Northumbria University, garden ponds are more than just an attractive feature, they also play an important role in helping combat climate change. We already know that ponds increase garden biodiversity and help prevent flooding by slowing down the flow of water in heavy rains. But did you know that ponds also store carbon? A recent study suggests that in the sediment accumulated at the bottom of ponds, there’s potential to hold more carbon per square metre per year, than equivalent areas of grassland and woodland. Ponds are the most common and widespread habitat for all plants and animals.

We have lost over 50% of our ponds in the last century, in favour of neat lawns and paving. Ponds matter and are one of the most important things you can do for wildlife. They are easy to create and their value is now firmly understood. No longer overlooked, the importance of ponds in the carbon cycle and in fighting climate change is becoming apparent.

Steps to help pond during hot weather conditions

Hot, dry conditions can bring many challenges to ponds particularly to those home to Koi or goldfish. However, there are things we can do to minimise any negative impact.

  • Monitor the temperature of the water and take action if it goes above 27 degrees Celsius (15 to 25 degrees C is optimal).
  • Warmer the water becomes, the lower the oxygen levels. Watch out for fish swimming to the surface and gasping for breath leading to stress.
  • Shade blocks UV rays from warming the water. Planting broad leaved plants such as water lilies and, or installing a temporary shade cover over your pond will help maintain a healthy temperature.
  • Aquatic plants release oxygen during photosynthesis. This process offers an eco-friendly way to aerate the water. Plants not only take-up carbon-dioxide and release oxygen but also absorb excess nutrients that would otherwise increase risk of algae growth thereby improving water quality.
  • Add a water feature to keep water moving and to create bubbles allowing a natural diffusion of oxygen into the water.
  • Don’t over feed fish to reduce waste. Uneaten food will start to decompose over time and affect natural nutrient balance in the water. The result could lead to algae blooms.
  • Remove debris before it decomposes.
  • Make sure pond is deep enough to retain a bottom layer of cold water.

Your pond during periods of heavy rainfall

Reduce rainwater run-off into your pond by minimising man-made impervious surfaces. Plants absorb water so grow sufficient to cover your flower-beds including native plants which have extensive root systems to absorb rainwater before it becomes ‘run-off. Reduce the slope of your garden and add a gravel area around the edge of your pond to drain excess water. If your pond is at risk of flooding, scoop out excess water.

According to the RHS, managing our garden and ponds will help offer a buffer for wildlife in a changing climate. Ponds provide a life line to wildlife such as dragonflies, damselflies and amphibians.

Wildlife garden pond provides a haven for insects, birds, frogs and dragonflies particularly during dry periods and climate changes

Why Butyl pond liner is still a popular choice?

Butyl pond liner is a synthetic rubber sheet that has been used to line ponds of all shapes and sizes. It has been the preferred liner of choice for the past four to five decades displaying great longevity. Despite other less expensive pond liners coming to market, Butyl is still proving to be a popular choice. We explore reasons that have made this one of the most successful choices for water containment.

When choosing a pond liner, a key feature is how it stands up to a wide range of weather conditions and to ground movement. Weather conditions in todays times with global warming affecting climate change is very important. Butyl pond liner stays stable in both very warm and cold weather.

Butyl liners are available in different thicknesses. The 0.75mm thickness is ideal for flat sheet liner installations, whereas the 1.0mm is the preferred choice for box-welded liners. Sheets of liner can also be welded together on site for more complex pond shapes and for large pond builds.

Key features of Butyl

  • Highly flexible accommodating all pond designs and ground movement
  • Durable and offers an excellent balance between durability and flexibility
  • UV resistant so it remains stable in wide range of temperatures without showing signs of contraction or expansion
  • Readily fabricated into 3-D box-welded pond liners
  • Superior physical characteristics
  • Conforms readily to the contours of the pond shape

With all these outstanding attributes, it is highly recommended to use of a geotextile underlay to line the bottom of a pond before installing the pond liner. The underlay will add extra long-term protection against roots and sharp stones puncturing the liner. Over time ground movement pushes stones towards the ground surface hence the reason to protect.

Butyl pond liner on the role

Although Butyl is a slightly more expensive choice, it is still chosen by landscapers due to its high specifications thereby reducing the risk of damage. We have had reports from customers who installed their pond liner about 40 years ago and it is still holding water successfully!

Why choose an EPDM pond liner for your pond?

EPDM pond liner (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is the ideal solution for water retention and widely used to line lakes, garden ponds and man-made streams. EPDM is a synthetic rubber with properties very similar to butyl pond liner and has become a leading product for lining garden ponds. EPDM pond liner has many superior technical features such as resistance against root penetration, unaffected by UV radiation, durability, withstands adverse temperature range of -40 to +150 degrees Celsius and has a proven long service history. This pond liner is seen as the cheaper yet slightly more superior alternative to Butyl pond liner.

EPDM is sold under many different brand names. Liners Online sell EPDM under the name, Epalyn and is available in three different thicknesses; 0.75mm, 0.85mm and 1.0mm.

When you type “EPDM” into the search engines you may also see a choice of roofing specialist websites. This is because the synthetic rubber membrane is a very popular choice in the roofing industry but it is not to be confused with EPDM pond liners, also known as Epalyn pond liner as sold by Liners Online. The rubber membrane used to line ponds, lakes, streams, water storage tanks and reservoirs is fish-friendly and is also used to line potable water tanks. For this reason EPDM pond liner should only by ordered from companies in the aquatic trade.

EPDM pond liner is available in three thicknesses of 0.75mm, 0.85mm and 1.00mm. This makes EPDM pond liner suitable for a range of application types from the humble garden pond through to the most demanding large pond or lake builds.

For natural ponds, EPDM pond liner can be supplied as a single sheet to your required size, and then trimmed to the exacting shape once installed. We highly recommend installing above a tough performing geotextile pond underlay. It’s function is to protect your pond liner from being punctured by sharp stones, rocks, roots and other soil debris that might be pushed up due to natural ground movement.

Your pond design plans may include covering above your liner with soil, gravel, rocks or pebbles for a more natural look. If so, Geotextile protective underlay should also be used both above and below the pond liner to prevent costly and time consuming repairs.

For formal shaped ponds (with vertical sides and a flat base), including Koi and ornamental ponds, EPDM can be fabricated and supplied as a box-welded pond liner. The advantage of this design is that they can be installed into a pond dug-out without any unsightly folds or creases. This 3-D effect pond liner is fabricated in our factory and supplied as a single item.

7 reasons why you should buy an EPDM pond liner

  1. Most flexible pond liner therefore moulds readily into the shelves, contours and features of a pond
  2. Suitable for ponds of all shapes and sizes and can be supplied as a single sheet or box-welded liner for formal vertically sided ponds
  3. Greater puncture resistance versus PVC or Butyl
  4. Very durable because of it’s resistance to UV rays and ability to withstand an extreme temperature variation from -40 to 90 degrees Celsius
  5. Resistant to microbial and algae attacks therefore requires little maintenance once installed
  6. Non-toxic so it doesn’t leach chemicals into the water – won’t harm fish, wildlife or aquatic plants
  7. Superior weathering resistance so won’t crack or go brittle with age. EPDM Epalyn pond liner has over 40 years of experience and most companies offer a 25 years guarantee 

Pond liner performance

An EPDM pond liner is guaranteed over a life-time for orders under a 100 m squared or for 25 years for orders over 100m square. If installed above a Geotextile protective underlay it is likely to provide a lifetime of water retention. However, should your pond be visited by a sharp clawed creature, you can be assured that rubber pond liners are readily repairable using Mastic tape or a pond liner repair kit.

Liners Online are passionate about the pond liners we supply and have years of experience in the business including on site installation and fabrication. Please visit our website for details on our pond liners and our Epalyn pond liner kits.

This entry was posted on July 3, 2023, in Pond Liners.

Grab a bargain on a quality pond liner

Building a pond is an exciting project for any keen gardener or fish enthusiast. Two important initial decisions to be made are deciding on the shape and size of pond to fit an appropriate location in your garden. Once you have mapped out your pond on the ground and started excavating, the next step is deciding what pond liner will offer your pond the best water containment.

Pond lining options are bespoke box-welded pond liners, flexible sheet liners or a rigid preformed liner. Each has it’s pros and cons. A box-welded pond liner is fabricated in a factory to the exact pond dimensions of formal vertically sided pond designs. If you plan on building a small pond on a budget then a PVC pond liner will do the job. A rigid preformed pond liner limits creative designs and scope to add on to your initial pond build. Rubber pond liners such as Butyl and Epalyn offer longevity, flexibility and excellent durability.

Sold under many different brand names, EPDM is a pond liner with very high quality specifications. Liners Online sell EPDM under the name, Epalyn and is available in three different thicknesses; 0.75mm, 0.85mm and 1.0mm.

Epalyn is slightly more flexible than Butyl rubber pond liners which have dominated the market for many years. It moulds into the contours of ponds of any shape or size. Synthetic rubber pond liners are environmentally friendly and won’t affect pond life.

Features of Epalyn pond liner

  • Fabricated in the factory or sheets welded together on site
  • Highly flexible moulding readily to the contours of pond shape
  • Very durable and resistant to UV radiation so won’t crack or go brittle
  • Withstands adverse weather conditions : -40 to +150 degrees Celsius
  • Doesn’t leach out any chemicals so safe for fish or any visiting wildlife
  • Puncture resistant

With all the outstanding features of Epalyn synthetic rubber liner, you can even grab a summer offer on the price.

Why ponds, bees, birds and trees are invaluable

Ponds, bees and trees form a key part of our ecosystem. They form an important role in helping nature thrive. We make a difference to local wildlife by building a pond, planting a tree (or sponsoring one) and growing native plants rich with pollen or nectar.

A garden pond, preferably one designed to attract wildlife offers great value to local ecosystems. They will attract pond skaters, water beetles, dragonflies, damselflies and birds (if there is somewhere for them to land and drink). Ponds designed specifically for wildlife will also, in time, attract frogs and possibly newts too. If you would prefer an ornamental fish pond, it may not attract as many wildlife species but it will still offer a valued resource to many.

Autumn is the ideal time to build a pond when the ground is soft. But, even early spring is a good time to dig a pond before the ground warms and dries-out. Dimensions of at least 2m x 2m are considered to be optimal, but wildlife isn’t fussy when looking for a source of water. A pond depth of at least 60 cm will greatly reduce the chances of the water freezing over in winter.

When siting your pond aim to build it on flat ground (to avoid rain water flowing downhill and flooding your pond) in a sunny part of your garden.

Lining a pond with a good quality pond liner is advisable. It will prevent water lose through seepage, withstand UV radiation and less likely to tear.

Add oxygenating plants to reduce algae build-up and to keep water from stagnating. Planting long-stemmed plants such as Irises will provide a safe place for insects such as dragonflies to land and to exit from the water.

Steps to slow the decline in bird populations

According to an article by Scientist and Researcher, Ken Rosenberg published in the Journal of Science, we have lost 3 billion birds over the past 50 years. His research focuses on helping to stop the alarming decline in birds. His theory is that “it is much easier and less costly to be proactive and work on this while birds are still coming.”

We can help birds by:

  • Limiting or irradicating the use of pesticides
  • Limit our use of plastics and dispose of any plastic responsibly – to avoid birds getting tangled in them
  • Put up a bird feeder in a safe place and regularly put out energy rich food
  • Plant fruit bearing trees (if you have the space)
  • Support bird charities like the RSPB and their valuable research

Birds are a huge asset to farmers because they eat insects thereby keeping crop destroying insect population numbers under control. Birds also play an important role in helping with pollination.

We can help bees by growing plants that produce nectar rich flowers. by growing a range of plants there is the possibility of extending the availability of nectar from spring through to autumn. Plants such as Primrose, Buddleia, Lavender and Marigolds are just a few examples of bee loving plants.

Bees need trees. They provide a source of nectar and offer an essential habitat. Bees use the resin on the trunks of trees to build their nests. Cavities in the bark of trees provides shelter to bees and other insects.

Trees are essential habitats and air-filters

Trees clean the air we breathe. They soak-up excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it to oxygen via photosynthesis. Essentially they are the most effective air filters. They also provide a valuable habit for wildlife. Birds nest in trees, bats roost in trunks and insects seek shelter under bark. The resin of trees is used by some bee species to build their nests.

Climate change and extreme weather are driving the decline in bees, birds, butterflies and much of wildlife. We can slow the decline by using whatever outdoor space we have to create a haven for wildlife.

Steps to preparing your pond for Spring

The days are getting notably longer and there are signs that warmer weather is on its way. Spring marks a season of new beginnings. A time of year when beautiful, vibrant colours ascend from the ground. It’s a season that brings with it a feeling of happiness and we begin to feel so much more energized as we head outdoors. Gardens come alive and for those lucky enough to live in the country-side, there is the bleeping sounds of lambing season. We love it!

As the temperatures start to warm, creatures who hibernate begin to awaken and so too does life in a garden pond. There are things pond owners can do to make this period as stress free for wildlife as possible. When the temperature of pond water is consistently at or above 10 degrees C, it is time to take important steps to prepare both garden and pond for Summer so that we can enjoy the sheer beauty they offer.

In the early spring, a ponds ecosystem is in a fragile state with growing demands on oxygen supplies as fish become more active and the water gets warmer. To help your pond for Spring, here are a few important steps to make sure your pond gets a healthy start.

Spring garden pond maintenance:

  1. Start feeding your fish again.
  2. Skim dead leaves and debris off surface of pond
  3. Carefully remove this sludge from bottom of pond. Organic matter left in the pond will start to break down as bacteria become more active. Decomposition will cause pH levels to drop and increase nutrient levels in the water – which algae thrive on. You can use a skimmer net or pond vacuum to remove debris from the bottom of the pond. Whatever method you use, be careful not to remove or interfere with frogspawn. If you need to scrap debris off the bottom you also need to be careful not to damage the pond liner.
  4. Water evaporates on windy and when the temperatures are high. It is important that you maintain the water levels by topping-up with water – preferably filtered from a rainwater butt as tap water carries higher levels of nutrients, which may affect the ecosystem.
  5. Carefully remove your pond pump to check that it is in good working condition and remove any debris that may have got into the pumps mechanics.
  6. If your pond is looking sparse, this is a good time to add a few aquatic plants. The aim should be for plant foliage to cover a third of the water surface. Plant a combination of floating aquatics, submerged oxygenating plants and water lilies, along with marginal plants grown in the shallow water around the edges.

There is nothing more pleasing than a well-maintained water feature. A garden pond offers sound, movement, reflections, and a place to grow aquatic plants. But ignore your pond and it will become a muddy, weed-infested ‘eye-sore’.

Contact Us or visit our website to order any of our pond or garden related products.

This entry was posted on February 3, 2023, in Garden ponds.

Garden pond maintenance in May

Pond maintenance is important throughout the year with each month having its list of actions that will need attention. Ongoing maintenance will ensure the water in your pond and it’s inhabitants continue to thrive from season to season.

For many of us, April has had unpredictable weather patterns which have seen snow, frost and high winds with a few warm sunny days too. With average temperatures around or marginally below the average for April, you will be forgiven for not being on top of your gardening and pond maintenance. But, we hope that the Easter week-end will bring warmer weather and inspire you to get both ‘Summer’ ready.

Now that the weather is warming up, it is the perfect time to introduce new plants to your pond. If you have a more established pond, it is important to thin out existing oxygenating and marginal pond plants (when they become too invasive and out grown their growing baskets). Cutting back aquatic plants will allow enough sunlight in to warm pond water and allow photosynthesis of submerged plants.

If you notice any signs of stringy blanket weed when tending to your pond, remove all traces as soon as possible. Dealing with Duckweed or Blanket weed as soon as possible reduces the chances of pond life being chocked by these oxygen sapping unwelcome plants.

Doing a few pond maintenance tasks each month will go towards a ensuring a thriving pond and a spectacle to enjoy during the warmer months of the year.

5 things to check before adding fish to your pond

5 tips to successfully adding fish to your garden pond

The number of ponds that have been built during these unprecedented times is just so exciting. Ponds not only add aesthetic value to your garden, but they are of great importance to wildlife. Most importantly, though is the reward of accomplishing a successful pond build and successfully adding fish to a healthy ecosystem. After which, you can sit back and enjoy all that your pond has to offer.

If you have built your pond for the purpose of homing fish, there are things to consider first. The best advise is to exercise a little patience, the result of which will be happy goldfish or Koi and a thriving pond.

Spring is the ideal time to introduce fish to your garden pond.

Steps to take before adding fish

  • Establish a safe aquatic environment first. A healthy ecosystem is critical to the survival of your fish.
  • Add a filter and pond pump to your water feature
  • Check pH which needs to be maintained between a range of 7.2 to a maximum of 7.8
  • Make sure the water temperature is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit before introducing your goldfish or Koi
  • Take care when transporting fish from place of purchase to pond location. Avoid direct sunlight onto the bag/s carrying your new pets

Introducing fish to a garden pond needs to be a slow process to avoid stress. A temperature variation between pond water and the water inside the bag they have been transported in needs to minimised. The best way to achieve this is to slowly add small amounts of pond water to the bag. Or, float the bag on the surface of pond for a half hour to an hour so fish can slowly acclimatise. Either method works provided you avoid fish being exposed to direct sunlight.

Size of pond matters too, especially if you are going to home Koi. They typically need at least 1000 gallons of water and depth of pond needs to be no less than 3 feet deep. It is also wise to net your pond to deter unwanted predators visiting your pond for a ‘free meal’.

We hope these simple, but practical tips are useful in a successful introduction of to your garden pond.

This entry was posted on February 4, 2022, in Garden ponds.