MAINTAINING A WATER GARDEN

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Plant care and pest control: Aquatic plants don’t require much attention, but periodic division helps keep them healthy. Every couple of years, in late spring or early autumn, divide plants that are overgrown or crowding neighbouring plants. Thick roots may need to be divided with a spade or a knife and divided clumps can be replanted singly.

Remove thick layers of algae during the first months of the pond being planted/constructed (in spring/summer) and any large area of blanket weed annually.

Pests are less of a problem in ponds with fish as the fish eat the insect larvae. In late summer aphids often attack Water Lilies and other aquatic plants, causing discolouring and decay. Use a hose pipe to wash away the aphids, or submerge the leaves of plants for 24 hours.

Autumn and winter maintenance: The most important task in autumn is to keep the water free from decaying vegetation. Remove dead and dying foliage regularly and prune back excess growth of submerged plants. Place netting over the pond where practicable as this can help autumn maintenance by keeping leaves and debris from falling in and fouling the water; During the winter months ice may form, trapping methane gas which is released from submerged decaying vegetation and is potentially lethal to fish. Ice also exerts excess pressure on the sides of concrete ponds, often causing them to crack. Ensure that the pond remains free of ice by floating a ball on the pond’s surface, or use an electric pool heater. This gives out just enough heat to maintain a small area of open water.