Spring Garden Maintenance: Ignore the Weather

On the 20th March the sun officially passed the equator on its annual northern trip for the summer. This means that spring is officially here, but with this March breaking records in many countries for the cold weather that they have experienced, many gardeners will be worrying less about the melting of sea ice at the pole this summer and more about whether the pond ice is ever going to recede. For those with existing ponds, spring is an important time of year and there are a number of maintenance tasks to perform before the growing season gets underway – assuming it does. Here are a few seasonal checks to get you started.

Aquatic Planting Overload

Aquatic plants contribute to the overall health of your pond but can also become a problem if they are over enthusiastic. While most people will have cut back some of the plants in autumn, spring is a good time to check the balance of plant life and remove excess planting. Once the growing season starts existing plants will spread rapidly and in well-established ponds it can be important to remove some of the planting to avoid creating too much shade. This is particularly the case in ponds which provide a home to fish, but be sure to leave enough planting to provide some shade. When removing or restocking, remember to take extra care when touching the pond liner. While a modern epalyn pond liner will be robust it should always be handled carefully. Also check the liner for any damage at this time of year to avoid problems over the summer.

Water Servicing

Spring means it is time to remove nets if you’ve used them over autumn and winter. Specialist pumps and vacuums can also be used to remove sediment that has built up over winter. When clearing sediment again take care of the pond liner; completely cleaning the pond is not entirely necessary but reducing dirt and sediment will help to keep the pond healthy once you start to feed fish more regularly. Spring is also a good time to introduce some new water into the pond. Most experts recommend a twenty-five percent change, which should refresh the ecosystem and create a healthy ‘summer ready’ pond environment.

Practical Maintenance

If you’ve removed your pond pump for the winter, now is the time to give it a quick check and service if necessary. If you accidentally forgot (or put off) cleaning the pump in autumn then it’s time to forget the excuses and thoroughly clean and check the filters. Replace any parts as required and get the pond pump back in and working. As light increases this will help to keep the pond oxygenated and encourage fish to become more active. As temperatures begin to rise, hopefully at least, both plants and aquatic animals will become more active. Ensuring that your pond is in peak condition will allow you to relax and enjoy the garden to the full this summer.