The pond in October
This month you can enjoy the beautiful autumnal colours in the garden. Your pond too should still be looking attractive but to maintain its appearance we have listed some chores for this month.
- It is time for some autumn pond cleaning. To prevent the pond from turning too acidic and to stop the growth of algae in spring it is essential to clean the pond in autumn. Dead plant material and fallen leaves should be removed.
- Stretch some netting over your pond to catch fallen leaves. If you don't like the look of a net, you will have to scoop out the leaves daily.
- Remove excess water plants and put them on the compost heap. Do take care, however, and leave the plant material on the side of the pond for a few hours. Numerous creatures that maintain the balance in your pond, find refuge in these plants. You should give them time to return to the pond.
- Take a good look at the bottom of the pond. If there is a thick layer of rotted material, this should also be removed. You can then apply a new layer of substrate.
- The sides of the pond can be cleaned with a stiff brush.
- Autumn is a good time to re-pot plants and thin out thick plant masses. Old water plants can be divided and the best parts replanted.
- The correct hardness of the water is very important for the winter. It should be between 10 and 12 GH. In autumn this is of particular importance as the CO2 level will rise considerably, mainly because plants have stopped growing. When the hardness of the water is at a good level, the excess CO2 is removed by combining with the calcium which is also present.
- If there also is a good deal of organic material in the pond, it will raise the level of CO2 when it breaks down. Excess CO2 can cause oxygen shortage. Try using aeration sets to add oxygen to the water and, in sub-zero temperatures, to keep the pond surface clear of ice.
- Most floating plants, water lettuce and water hyacinth for example, should be moved indoors. They can hibernate in an aquarium or large bowl of water. Make sure they have sufficient light.