London (change)
Today 14°C / 8°C
Tomorrow 13°C / 10°C

Blanket weed in garden ponds


by Richard Jones

I've just had another look at the RSPB Homes for Wildlife web pages and see that September is the best month for clearing some blanket weed off of the garden pond.


Garden pondAfter the frantic time of summer holidays, when it's as much as I can do to remember to mow the lawn occasionally or throw a bucket of water on anything that's drooped dangerously, we are edging back to the normal routines of work, school and ... a bit of gardening. I've just had another look at the RSPB Homes for Wildlife web pages and see that September is the best month for clearing some blanket weed off of the garden pond. How apposite, I'd noticed the pond was looking rather green and cloudy and had made a mental note to do just that.

Since I renovated the pond, after last year's leak, it has remained relatively clear, but the hot July started a cloudiness in the water that now sees the Canadian pondweed in the centre smothered in algal growth. Previous clearings of the weed have led to some interesting discoveries.

Blanket weed in a garden pondThe first signs of dragonfly colonization were revealed in the several large larvae dredged up at once. I had seen the common blue damselfly, Enallagma cyanthigerum, often enough and counted dozens of the empty larval skins around the edge of the butyl liner on hot summer days, but these were great fat nymphs. Later that year a large female broad-bodied chaser, Libellula depressa, emerged and sat drying her wings on the overhanging ivy for all to watch.

Another time we learned that foxes liked to play with the drying weed left on the pond edges. Early one morning there were three or four young cubs out there frolicking with the stuff. Apart from snatching it from each other and playing tag with it, they particularly liked tug-of-war. Bits ended up all over the garden. There's not that much weed to pull out this year, but we'll soon see if the foxes are interested in a bit of play time.



Discuss this blog post

Talkback: Blanket weed in garden ponds
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

Gardeners' World Web User 29/09/2008 at 08:53

i have just done a wildlife pond on the allotment. i have put some plants in it, it’ss starting to look good now. we have seen a few frogs i put two fish in it to keep the nats down, i have put a lot of plants around it so the wildlife can hide we have alot of slugs and snails. so we need a lot of frogs to help so, come spring, i will take out some frog spawn out of my pond in my own garden and put it in. i just hope that does the trick.

Gardeners' World Web User 30/09/2008 at 08:54

I have just done a wildlife pond on the allotment i have put some plants in it it is starting to look good now. we have seen a few frogs i put two fish in it to keep the gnats down i have put a lot of plants around it so the wildlife can hide we have a lot of slugs and snails so we need a lot of frogs to help so come spring i will take out some frog spawn out of my pond in my own garden and put it in i just hope that does the trick.

Gardeners' World Web User 30/09/2008 at 20:46

Joey may regret putting 2 fish in the allotments wildlife pond. My pond is just over a year old and so clear you can clearly see to the 3 ft deep bottom, I have not had a problem with gnats as the newts etc keep them in check. The fish will eat young frogs

Gardeners' World Web User 04/02/2009 at 14:29

I built a pond using an old plastic baby bath and pond liner. Put a few plants and stones in it and in its first year we had 7 frogs at one point, a pregnant newt, which left early one evening I presume to have its young. It has given my whole family much pleasure - and cut down the number of slugs! always good news!!

Gardeners' World Web User 23/02/2009 at 23:56

Thanks for the tip I really appreciate it!!

See more comments...