October 23, 2017

Top Tips for Pond Cleaning

How to clean your pond

Avoid pushing more soil into your pond

 

The first problem I encountered was that as I moved anything near the pond, more soil kept falling into the pond which would only mean that I would have even more soil to extract. I therefore dug a trench about 45 cm  away from the pond all around it, and then, with a push of the back of the spade I transferred all the soil that was on the banks of the pond into the trench, instead of letting it fall into the pond water.

pond-cleaning-trenchHow to drain your dirty pond

a)The pond siphon

Now I had to empty the water; I dug a large deep hole on the side of the pond and tried the age old method of siphoning out the water. As I wasn’t  keen to suck the water, I lay both sides of the pipe into the pond , waited till it filled with water, I held my finger on one side, lifted it out and placed it at the bottom of the hole that I dug which was obviously lower then the level where the other side was in the pond. As the water began to spurt out of the mouth of the hose I began to think how I easy the job of emptying the pond will be, but my happiness was short lived, since the water was so muddy the hosepipe soon began to slow down to a trickle and then dried up altogether!

siphoning-dirty-pondb) The pond bucket

The next obvious way was to bend down with the large yellow bin and physically empty the murky  water whilst kneeling on the side of the pond, it worked well, but soon the water was too distant for me to be able to reach it from the banks of the pond.

c) The pond long arm bucket

I then designed the first ‘long arm water drawer’! It is simply a long piece of wood screwed to the side of a regular bucket and although I was taking less water at a time, at least I could reach the centre of the pond and I could do it standing up without breaking my back whilst kneeling!

long-armed-pond-cleaner-bucketd) The pond brush

There was now just about 30cm left at the centre of the pond. With  brush in hand I went into the centre of the pond and brushed out the muddy mixture over the sides of the pond. I was pleased to find that my old wellingtons were still totally watertight!

The  problem now was removing  the frogs without damaging them, as I brushed them over the side of the pond they kept jumping back in. I wished someone could tell them to stay out for just a couple of hours until I put in the fresh water. I felt like a family trying to coax their old grandmother to move out of her tumbled down house to the modern granny flat they had built for her, and she just will not hear of it! [Although maybe frogs actually prefer murky water over fresh water!(like the granny prefers her old house!)]

Cleaning the empty pond

In my allotment we luckily have fresh tap water, [the council charge an extra £10 a year for it but it is well worth it]. I hosed down the sides brushed them over again and then began refilling with fresh water, the next day I added a thermos of boiling water to incease the temperature and then a few small goldfish, once they acclimatise they can live in freezing water as well, – and the frogs will soon return as well, I am sure. I now covered the  pond with a wire mesh – this will keep the leaves and debris out – and the heron will have to  find fish in the river next door not in my fishpond.

I felt I had accomplished a  fresh start to the New Year with a fresh pond – a job well done – with many more in the pipe line – I hope!

refilling-the-pondGood gardening in the New Year

Boris Legarni .

About The Author

Profile photo of Boris Legarni

Boris inherited his green fingers from his mother, who was still planting potatoes and rhubarb in the sixties as she was afraid that they would once again be rationed. As a teenager he used to plant radishes in the corner of the school garden and sell them during break time for sixpence, to give his classmates a healthy crunchy snack. He and his wife both have had an allotment for years, but there is no competition – he does the planting and she does the harvesting and cooking. With a passion for growing anything edible, Boris has planted dozens of named fruit trees in his orchard. Nevertheless he is an avid flower arranger, and assists local communities and charities with his flower arrangements. Boris tells us that after so many years on the allotment he has made all the mistakes possible, and he will share with you his practice to make yours perfect!

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