Ponds, pond liners, wildlife – how to protect them during a hot, dry summer?

Pond liners, whether of the flexible type or prefabricated are used to provide a water containment solution and a barrier between water and soil to keep the pond water clean.  Protecting the pond liner as well as your pond inhabitants such as plants, fish or wildlife is important to ensure their longevity. The top concern of pond owners during warm summer months is the growth of green algae, which is a symptom of high nutrient levels in ponds.

The warm weather during the summer months increases levels of evaporation. level starts getting low, don’t panic, it’s natural during summer. Topping up a low pond with tap water adds nutrients just at the time it’s ripe for an algae bloom. Before you know it you’ve got a pool of green sludge that takes the oxygen from the water and blocks out the light to the plants below.
The best advise is to try collecting as much rainwater as possible. It is free from pollution. Not only is this water great for wildlife in your garden, but by diverting it from our drains you could save yourself money on your water bill.

What to do to protect your pond:

  • Remove any existing blanket weed from the surface of your pond. This takes nutrients out of the system. Use a rake (a leaf rake is ideal) to gently drag the surface layer of algae to the pond edge, and scoop it out. Be careful not to uproot other floating plants. There will be insects and maybe tadpoles caught up in it so its important to leave it on the bank to allow them to wriggle back into the pond. After a few hours, put it on the compost heap.
  • Allow the pond level to fluctuate naturally as much as possible, and if digging a new pond make a deep area so it will never completely dry out. If you do need to top it up, use rainwater collected in water butts, not tap water. Avoid directing rainwater straight into a pond from your roof, as it will carry sediments that will build up in your pond. Allowing it to collect in a water butt first will let these sediments settle out.
  • Check that the material you have used for the edging of your pond is covering the pond liner sufficiently enough to be protected from UV rays.
  • The best advice is to install a pond liner, which is UV resistant. Should the water level of your pond drop and the pond liner exposed, you will be grateful you installed a premium quality, UV resistant liner which won’t go brittles and crack in summer.

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