Latest posts by Madonbirds

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Posted: 14/09/2017 at 17:17

Thanks for that, just what I needed


Posted: 14/09/2017 at 14:47

I planted three lily bulbs in a large pot in the spring and they all flowered, but unfortunately one wasn't the same variety as the others! I'm not too worried, as the 'wrong' one is a Regal Lily and quite like it anyway, but maybe it'll stop me buying loose again! Question is, I want them separated for next season, so when do I do that? Before you ask, I have labelled the one I want moved elsewhere, probably into another pot, as we have thick clay soil here.

Blanket Weed

Posted: 31/10/2012 at 00:33

Sorry Christy, didn't get the email message to say you'd replied like last times!!

Snails I believe, go into a sort of semi hibernation where they slow their heart down in the coldest of weather and stay in their 'house'. Snails will always exist in ponds and are a good thing, clearing away rotting vegetation. Only wildlife you don't really want is the great diving beetle.

Try and not bring in frogspawn, as it's always best to allow them to find it first, it means your pond is right for them. Two gardens ago, I had put in a small tub pond buried to keep some plants, while I built the big one and within two days I had two frogs! They still spawned in the big one, which had fish in it, each year we were there from the following year onwards. Some always survived to spend time in the garden and do the good work they do there.

Blanket Weed

Posted: 28/10/2012 at 14:32

As Joy says, you don't need the cover in the winter, as like I said before about the three things you need heat light and nutrients. The heat and light isn't there during the winter, so algae like plants, won't be actively growing. Only thing to guard against in winter, is cut down the marginals and any decaying matter, like old lily leaves and flowers if you got any this year. In time, you will have to thin the oxygenating plants in autumn, but they'll still be manageable this year.

Just be patient and you will soon have a great pond, maybe the odd bit of algae, but even that can be beneficial to certain wildlife in the pond. Have fun, just wish everyone would build a pond.

Blanket Weed

Posted: 26/10/2012 at 23:47

Time is what is needed, time for the proper plants to get a hold and deal with the excess nutrients that is helping the algae to take a hold. Algae needs light, heat and nutrients (nitrate and phosphate) to grow. If your pond is less than say 2ft deep it will heat up quickly in the summer, which helps the algae take hold quicker than the beneficial plants. if there are not enough oxygenators in the pond, which help alongwith the ordinary plants, take out the excess nutrients in the pond, you'll need to add more, probably next spring now. A good marginal plant to have in the pond, is Typha Minima, as due to it being a Dwarf Reed, it will do the job that large reeds do in natural pond filters in house water purifification systems, but without the size problems these big plants bring. Light can be reduced by floating plants or the obvious Water Lilies and if possible aim to have a third to two thirds coverage. I've moved house a few times and one year I tried an experiment in a small pond I built. In the first year, I introduced Duck weed to give me really good cover while the lily was growing and for the 2/3 years I was there, I never had any blanketweed to speak of. Word of warning though, Duck weed is extremely invasive and after it had done it's 'job' I had to get rid of it and that meant every single leaf, which was quite a job I an tell you.

Blanketweed can be reduced to a manageable level quite quickly usual normal (already mentioned) ways, but that balance of plants can take months or in extreme cases, even years, but patience is all that is needed.

Hope this helps a bit, but whatever you do, try not to resort to chemicals, as it would only be a short term solution and will affect beneficial plants you want to do well.

Talkback: How to protect plants over winter

Posted: 18/10/2012 at 22:58
When you wrapped it, did you use fleece or polythene/bubble wrap, as the latter two would not allow it to breathe too well and lead to rotting? I'd tie the leaves upwards (protecting the core) and then wrap with horticultural fleece, maybe stand the pots on supports so the compost can drain well.
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