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Diary: March 2005

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Pond maintenance

15th March 2005 in the garden diary...
With the frogs getting ready to spawn in the pond, I was concerned that there was not enough open water for them.
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ToolsEdging sheers and plastic rake I like to let vegetation - mostly brooklime (Veronica beccabunga) - get quite dense in the shallow end of my pond because it provides a quite different, more marshy, habitat to that of the deeper areas. I always keep the area around one particularly large flat stone clear so that there is always some space for birds which like to come and bathe and drink. However, I find that they just as often will support themselves on a particularly thick mat of the encroaching vegetation when they are bathing.

The frogs like to spawn in this shallow end of the pond too - perhaps because it warms up quicker than the deeper areas. However, the mat of brooklime was so thick this year that any spawn laid on it would have been exposed to predatory birds and perhaps also in danger of drying out, so I decided to clear it out a bit. I wanted to clear a channel from the middle where the brooklime is more free-floating. At the edges it tends to root in the containers of other plants (and even outside the pond) and is more stable. I used lawn-edging sheers to reach easily into the middle of the pond and cut a slice out of the encroaching vegetation. I was then able to use a plastic rake to pull it out. As always, I put the removed vegetation at the side of the pond where it will stay for a few days to give any animals within it time to get back into the pond.
Pond before and after
These shots compare the shallow end of the pond before and after the clearance work.

Choked pond
The shallow end of the pond choked with vegetation.
Cleared pond
After some of the vegetation is cleared there is now more open water.

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