Keep your pond in tip-top condition with a quick weekly spruce-up to keep the water sparkling clear and show off your pond plants at their best.
Summer pond care routines needn’t take long as long as they’re done regularly. Start by removing pondweed: use a net to fish out as much duckweed as you can, then ‘catch’ strands of blanketweed on the end of a cane and twirl them around before pulling them out. Pop down to the garden centre here in London and you can pick up a barley straw pad or liquid additive which subtly changes the pH of your pond water, making it less attractive for blanketweed to establish.
Next, thin over-vigorous oxygenating plants. Submerged plants like Canadian pondweed, milfoil and water starwort are great for ponds, injecting oxygen into the water, but they can take over – so pull out unwanted growth each year. Leave any material you remove on the side of the pond for a few hours to allow pond creatures to get back into the water. Then top up your pond if the weather is hot, using saved rainwater from a butt wherever possible as tap water is rich in nutrients that encourage algae and turn your pond green.
Now turn to your pond plants. Snip off any tatty leaves and fading flowers, and remove dead leaves or debris to avoid it decomposing in the pond. About half your pond’s surface should be covered with plants, but don’t worry if there’s altogether too much water on show; now is one of the best times in the year for stocking up your pond with new plants. Visit our aquatic centre and take your pick from dozens of different varieties: good choices for planting now include water buttercup (Ranunculus aquatilis), flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus), sweet flag (Acorus calamus) and water forget-me-not (Myosotis palustris).