Words by: Dave Stephens - Sales Manager
The first lockdown saw thousands of new ponds built while many of us were at home during the glorious spring weather. Ten months on we are still staying at home to keep safe and protect our loved ones while the vaccines are administered.
While plenty of people have been grabbing their sledges and enjoying snowy conditions, here in the South West of England we are a few degrees warmer, so I took the opportunity on a chilly Sunday morning to get out and make some essential extras for my own lockdown pond that I built last spring. Early February has seen the first green shoots appearing on my marginal plants, reminding us that spring is just around the corner.
As the days get longer (and hopefully warmer) our gardens and ponds will come to life again. Spring always reminds me of childhood days collecting frogspawn and watching eagerly as the spawn started to wriggle and turn to tadpoles. Understanding nature much more now than I did then, I would discourage disturbing frogspawn from where it was laid. Frogs, after all are protected species, but there are some extra measures you can take in your own garden to encourage these fascinating visitors to use your pond as their very own maternity suite. If there are no access/escape routes for frogs and newts to get in and out of your pond, you are missing a trick. It is worth remembering that frogs love eating slugs and snails, therefore encouraging them to set up home will help protect your plants, which in turn will encourage bees and other pollinating insects to visit your garden.
Adding a homemade wildlife ramp doesn’t take long and is very easy, even for the DIY-fearing people like myself. Using some untreated wood to create an entry and exit pathway should mean that before long I will have frogspawn in my pond that evokes those childhood memories. What better biology lesson is there for those of us home-schooling? This is a great lesson for our children to take part in and to help provide an environment that lets nature thrive in our own back garden. Of course children should be well supervised around the pond, but why not teach the benefit of a well-maintained pond and everything it brings to our lives.
The importance of ponds in gardens cannot be emphasised enough, as I was having a quick coffee to warm up my freezing fingers, a Robin dropped by to take a drink, as I had the cover netting back so I could get to the water. With that I’ll just say I’m not the biggest fan of cover nets but after my Spaniel, Phoebe chased a Heron out of the garden last year it’s definitely here to stay.
As I spent time by the pond, I offered the fish I introduced last year some Multi-Season Pond Food, which they gratefully accepted and though they weren’t as enthusiastic as they were in the warmer weather, they still took in a few small pellets each. I even spotted a few of the Rudd fry that hatched last year; they are overwintering well and are now over an inch long. I’m really looking forward to seeing them grow this year.
Here are a few items to think about for the coming season to help provide the best environment possible:
- Pond Lab Test Kits so you can manage the all-important parameters.
- Multi-Season Pond Food - not too high in protein so your fish can get the nutrients they need
- Health Promoting Salt to help supply essential trace elements.
- Anti-Parasite and Fungus (Eradick) treatment to help combat the pathogens that also come to life in the spring.
- U.V lamps to keep the green water in check.
- Live Filter Bacteria (Mature) to top up your pond’s filter system ready for spring.
So I urge you to get outside, and encourage wildlife to use your pond. For those of you who are parents, involve your children, as this is a fantastic way to teach them about our wildlife.
Tagged in: Outdoor