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Friday, 27 March 2015

Cleaning the wildlife pond

Every Autumn and Spring is pond cleaning time. As soon as the frogs have stopped singing at night and just before the water gets too cold, we empty it out, scrub and re-arrange and fill up again. Same procedure in Spring, just before the frogs surface again from their hibernation.

With all the rain we've had, accompanied by hot temperatures, the pond is a haven for algae and mosquito larvae, which I'm sure the frogs enjoy!

The first thing to do is to pump out all the water (my garden thrills at that!) as low as possible. The suction pipe is at the lowest point of the pond and when it starts sucking thick sludge, it's time to remove all the thick sludge by hand with buckets.

Solly emptying the sludge while Chrissie sweeps the sides clean

Much of the wildlife in the pond flees to the bottom of the sludge and lands up on the lawn as the pond is emptied. I stand by to save any tadpoles, water beetles, water scorpions and anything else I might find in the sludge, with the chickens revelling in anything I might have missed! I used to try and squirt the sludge away with a hose pipe, but Chrissie "instructed" me to let it dry and then it's easy for her to rake up. You live and learn every day!

With the job almost finished, Solly poses for the camera.

Time to fill the pond with lovely fresh water. I also return all the insects I rescued from the sludge (and had in a bucket of water) to the pond to settle down before I switch on the pump again.

At the same time, the plants at the edge of the pond are trimmed and cleaned up

The finished product. Now, should I get some ducks...?


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