Pond maintenance

Pond maintenance
    Once your pond has been created and your plants have begun to thrive, you'll need to ensure you keep it in good condition – just like you would the rest of your garden.

Water loss can be a common problem. During the summer, your water feature may need to be topped up, as evaporation can diminish water levels. If possible, you should use rainwater that has been collected previously, as it is rich in nutrients.

When you've achieved the right balance of plants and animals, water quality should not be a problem. However, algae can sometimes create difficulties, particularly during extended warm spells. Make sure you add oxygenators and water lilies to prevent the algae from taking over.

In summer, you can help to maintain the quality of the water by spraying the pond lightly with water from a hose on hot nights, keeping it oxygenated. A fountain or other water feature can also be added – although this could raise the cost of your pond significantly. 

Aquatic plants generally do not require a great deal of attention, apart from ensuring some of the surface remains clear. Every so often, though, it's a good idea to divide plants that could be stifling their neighbours – this should be done every two years, in late spring or early autumn.

In autumn and winter, your pond could require extra care to protect it from the weather. During autumn, you'll need to ensure you keep the pond free from leaves and other decaying vegetation. This will be less of a problem if you site your water feature away from trees and overhanging branches. Regular pruning of nearby foliage can help to ensure the problem does not get out of hand.

Ice can form during the winter months, causing particular difficulties for fish. Floating a ball on the surface can prevent ice from forming, while a pond heater is another option to consider. Do not smash the ice, as this can harm fish – instead, you can melt it using a hot pan.

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