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My problem: my lily decided to float out of its basket in September resulting in better growth and production of flowers but will it die left floating in freezing conditions? When should I attempt to haul it out and replant it?
Our method is pond-care by neglect and ignorance. Flag irises take over and make huge immovable mats with their roots, and so does watercress. We put in goldfish and koi, but frogs, newts and toads turn up in droves. We get bats flitting over, unusual birds with no fear of us, amazing beautiful insects that look like humming-birds. And we've no idea of what most of them are.
It is a wildlife pond, (I hope - there are frogs in the garden anyway), so no pump or anything. Am I ok to just fish out the leaves, which I've done, and wait for Spring and (hopefully) the frogspawn? It does have some plants in it, some of which are oxygenators, which were growing well but now don't seem to be contributing much oxygen to it. And it is very murky.
However, the fish disappeared over the summer, the grasses were starting to take over, so late autumn seemed the best time to take action. We emptied the water and dug out the plants, mud, silt etc and decided to replace the liner. We are now waiting for decent conditions to put the new liner in, restock the plant-life and wait for the frogs to return. Choosing the right time to do this wasn't easy - whenever you do it causes disruption, but hopefully the frogs had time to find new winter quarters.
We have about 15 medium-large fish,loads of frogs & pondlife. Anybody got any advice what to do? I would love to dig another pond but I'm put off using liner as it leaks so easily & preformed ponds look to false. Also does anyone have any tips to keeps cats away from fish!
There is probably no 'best' time to completely clear out a pond. Inevitably you will disturb something at any time of the year. The usual advice for ponds, streams and ditches is to clear them piecemeal, stretch at a time, leaving the remainder to harbour the wildlife that then recolonizes the cleared region. Unfortunately, with my relatively tiny pond, and my punctured liner, I had no option but to remove the whole thing and more or less start again from scratch. I was pleased to be able to find the frogs and ensure some continuity of microscopic life be innoculating the new water with a few bucket-loads of the previous mud. And several dozen damselfly larvae went back in too.