Pond Maintenance - 2 years on

Hi Guys

I posted a couple of years ago and this was the pic immediately after construction - the pond is 30m x 15m

People here were kind enough to give me a lot of very helpful tips in terms of setup and planting


image

Since this time the pond has been planted up and now looks like this - we are very pleased with the result.



There are NO fish in the pond (by design) and we have attracted a variety of pond life - dragon flies, frogs, newts and lately a couple of breeds of duck. We have had two loads of ducklings so far but sadly none have remained/survived at pond.

My problem is now how to maintain the pond in terms of clearing pond weed, duck weed (pictured) as well as controlling the plants and even removing the copious leaves that fall into the pond without affecting the wildlife within.

If anyone could point me at a web resource or book  that covers maintenance of Wildlife ponds then it would be much appreciated.

Failing that any maintenance "tips" would be gratefully received - thanks in anticipation!

PS I am in N.Hampshire and if any Pond experts wanted to drop in then they would be very welcome!


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Posts

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 22,234
    IMHO, ( and I'm certainly NO expert ) I'd say you need more cover on the surface. It looks perfect for some water lilies.
    Devon.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 14,709
    When we made ours, this was the only book I bought.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/complete-wildlife-pond-Wildlife-maintain-ebook/dp/B00D3RUDRC/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

    For a good WL pond you need to take up some of the bricks around the edge and let the grass and weeds grow tall, the creatures love to come in and out of ponds without being exposed. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 617
    Best way to clear it out is to make a frame over it in smaller ponds just lay some wood across the pond, and then scoop out everything you do not want onto that, and leave it there, most of the creepies can then crawl and drop back into the pond.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 4,754
    WOW! what a fab pond! I'm sure local wildlife is extremely grateful.
    As Hosta says - a perfect pond for some big lilies. They will offer shade which will help with blanket weed etc. and help keep it cool in mid-summer.
    As your pond is still maturing it'll take a while for it all to balance.
    As Lyn says wildlife would prefer cover around the edges of the pond. I understand that you wont want to be removing the slabs that cover the liner, but you could plant around the margins of the pond with some taller plants that will spread over the slabs and offer cover. You could also build an impressive log-pile that stretches to the pond - a haven for frogs/toads etc
    You'll never win with duckweed - with a small pond it's quite easy to use the jet of a hose to push the duckweed to one end of the pond where you can net it out - not really an option for you :)
    Would love to see more pics as your wonderful pond matures.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 739
    edited May 2018
    Wow that is some pond! I dont think youd be able to eliminate duckweed from a pond that size, but I agree get some lilies, water hawthorne etc in there. The duckweed is filling a void, ie surface cover, you can get some more variation of plants in there which will make it less prevalent and less noticeable. Also agree about getting some height and vegetation around the edges to help those emerging amphibians.

    in terms of maintenance, is your liner strong enough to cope with you walking in it in waders? That would easily be the easiest way of keeping it under control. You can be pretty brutal taking things out, it'll grow back soon enough

    Im a bit jealous!
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,472
    Would the small structure on the right of the pond what an official "duckhouse" looks like? I hear they are expensive.
  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,236
    I wondered t'other day about your pond...  It's looking good.
  • Thanks for all the help guys....I bought the book mentioned and will have a read :-)

    There are actually 8 lilies in the pond (for 2 years) but they seem to be late starters and are not covering too well. I have very much left all the pond plants "as is" and wondered if I should be feeding/repotting etc etc. All advice welcomed?

    I have just built a hibernaculum which you can see beyond the duck house. (in answer to the question on Duck Houses - yes they are expensive , but Ebay came to my rescue). The duck tube was cheap to make (and has a duck sat on eggs at moment). The floating duck house was a "stop gap" when the first ducklings arrived to give them somewhere to hide). The ducks arriving has been a lovely surprise as they are all wild - we currently have Mallard and Mandarin "courting couples" - so fingers crossed

    I do have waders and can get in the pool - it just seems so much wildlife is in the leaves/weed. I am no plant expert I'm afraid.

    The pond can look spectacular - just want to keep it that way!  :-)

    All advice welcomed

     that way!




  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 739
    edited May 2018
    If you pull out any plants/weed just leave them at the side overnight and most wildlife will find its way back in. Any that doesnt is kind of collateral damage really, and sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, it will be for the benefit of a wider range of species. Having said that it might be a bit late now, if you can wait until autumn I'd do it then. 
    Yep lilies are quite late, might be worth getting some early cover plants in there for next year to help keep your water clear.
    In a pond that size I wouldn't worry about repotting etc, most stuff will escape its pot and root in the sediment at the bottom. Just a good clearout required when it gets out of hand. You could always divide any plants you want to increase or move around though. Just pull it up, rip half off and chuck it back in! (You can repot in a separate pot, but I think once theyre established its much easier to just let them do their thing)

    (Its looking great btw)
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 2,627
    A couple of ducks is ok, but many more and it's goodbye other wildlife! They eat insects and grubs and dragonfly larvae, frogspawn and tadpoles and frogs too - I've seen them have a 4-way tug of war with a frog in the middle!
    They stir up the mud with their dabbling and diving, disturb the plants and or eat them and undermine the banks with their dabbling. I love my ducks, but a duck pond is not as attractive as a wildlife pond!
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