Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘pond maintenance

Big Difference

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Last night I noticed that Cyndie was adding water to our landscape pond. I asked her if it has been needing as much water as the last few years. She told me that it didn’t, and that was a bit of a surprise. However, it leads me to believe that the changes we have made are likely responsible for the difference.

Since we moved here, each year the pond has needed more and more water added to maintain the level. We imagined there might be a leak, but we could never find any evidence of one. Then one day, I had an insight. Each year, the plants in the pond got thicker and thicker.

It seemed a surprising amount of water, but it occurred to me that the plants could be drinking it all up.

They were taking over, so we started pruning. We did a lot of pruning.

On top of that, we came across a valuable tip on keeping the pond clean over the offseason. We covered the surface with bird netting that caught all the debris of fall and winter. When we were ready to put the pump in this spring, all we needed to do was roll up the net. We were rewarded with a pond bottom of clean rocks, in place of the usual matt of rotting leaves.

Soon, the bundles of reeds that survived our pruning will start to sprout and we’ll see if the water level starts dropping at an increased rate.

I don’t mind so much that we have to add water, now that we’ve figured out it’s not simply pouring out some leak in the bottom. It’s just a little mind-boggling to see how much water the pond plants can actually consume if that is what’s actually happening.

I don’t know the actual science, but our anecdotal evidence about the big difference allows me to believe.

Especially given that I just really, really don’t want there to be a leak.





Written by johnwhays

May 14, 2019 at 6:00 am

Pond Day

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We’ve put off tending to our little landscape pond this spring for longer than we probably should. Part of that is because it was still frozen solid just a couple of weekends ago. The reality is, we would have been a lot better off if we had given the pond more attention way back last fall.

I failed to take a picture of the pond before starting, and thus missed a wonderful opportunity for the classic “before/after” comparison, so you’ll just have to take my word for how neglected it looked. The primary plant already growing in the pond before we arrived here was variegated sweet flag.

It has shown itself to be very happy with our location, expanding its reach in the last few years to an amazing degree. The old shoots were a dreary mess, along with a thick carpet of dead leaves and pine needles.

We spent most of the afternoon yesterday pulling dead and decaying organic matter out of the pond, along with all the swampy odors that come with that.

Cyndie heroically wrestled to prune out the unrestrained expansion of the sweet flag in hopes of being able to see more water than grass this summer.

I gathered the pump and filter paraphernalia from the garage shelf and got it reassembled and reinstalled. We rearranged rocks, trimmed tree branches overhead, and by dinner time, achieved a much less neglected looking pond.

The serenade of falling water has returned to compliment the constant chirping of night frogs for our evening soundtracks.

It seemed like a lot of work for one little pond, but given that it was done in a day and now looks ready for the summer, we decided it was a reasonable effort to put forth.

In a few weeks, we should be able to see new sprigs of variegated sweet flag poking up out of the water from what remains of the big cut back yesterday. Based on our experience here, I’m pretty sure we won’t wait so long next time to prune back the prolific advance of these happy plants.



Written by johnwhays

May 7, 2018 at 6:00 am