October is pond tidy time!

Looking for something to do in the garden this month? Take a wander over to your pond and have a look to see if it needs a bit of tidy. There is usually a lot of debris that can be removed, falling leaves need fishing out and you may want to cut back some dead growth of the plants. 

There may still be the odd dragon or damsel active and some frogs may have already returned to the pond for winter but otherwise it can be pretty quiet at this time of year, hence why it is such a good time to do any maintenance.

When the frosts come it's best to leave the pond alone, the only thing you really need to do over winter is occasionally allow the pond to breath during extended freezing conditions. Usually its a good idea to float a ball in the pond now before we get the frosts, then you can just take the ball out to leave a little breathing hole to allow gas exchange.

Anyone seeing much action around the pond at the moment? Of course if you don't have a pond, now is a good time to get digging!

Warden Intern at Otmoor.

  • My pond is really taking shape now. I put down some suitable wildflower seeds. So far I have seen iris, soft rush, marsh marigold and ragged robin from that. But also I have seen arrowhead, amphibious Bistort and what I think might be starwort in and around the pond. Is it unusual to see these kind of plants turn up of their own accord? the pond has only had water since July but already I have seen 4 or 5 great pondsnails. Is this normal as well?

  • In reply to Jack Milton:

    It is amazing how quickly ponds establish. Usually the first colonisers are either frogs or insects capable of flight like boatmen, skaters and beetles. The plants are interesting, I wonder if they came in with any you bought? The same could happen with the snails, the eggs or even the snails themselves could of been on the plants when you added them and it doesn't take long for one snail to turn into lots!

    Warden Intern at Otmoor.

  • In reply to IanH:

    I have since seen a massive slime of pond snail eggs. And even in october there are still loads of plants growing around the pond. And the mini ditch I made is progressing well.

  • In reply to Jack Milton:

    I have still got quite a lot of water snails in the pond, but only two or three frogs I had around 14/15 frogs in the summer, so maybe some were female and have hibernated, hopefully!! Its really warm in Devon at the moment even though we are in for some bad weather this weekend, Sunday and Monday really strong winds and rain :(

  • In reply to wildlifeloversharon:

    I was thinking of adding a splash of colour to the bog garden this weekend. What plants are good at this time of year?

  • In reply to Jack Milton:

    Hi Ian,   The pond we had constructed two years ago has been an absolute god send and we've had all sorts of lovely visitors to either bathe, drink or just wander around our water feature.   This year saw Redwings drinking and bathing on the top tier of the waterfall and a family of Grey Wagtails visit along with our first Dragonfly and a toad !     So a few pics showing start to finish .........but with many more visitors in the future we hope :)

    The start  ........

    and 4 months of winter, mud, mess and rubble later   !! 

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Fantastic pond Hazy, I would love one like that, its beautiful, wonderful for all your birds and a very good selection of birds you have there too. I can see thay love the waterfall :)

  • In reply to wildlifeloversharon:

    Evening Sharon, thanks so much,  I don't think it matters if you have large or small water feature or even a plastic tub, it will bring in all sorts of birds to bathe and drink and this feature has proved amazingly successful as well as adding a lovely focal point to the otherwise plain woodland garden.    

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Absolutely beautiful pond, HAZY, and the wildlife thinks so too! Would love to see more pics as time goes by, if you can, please!

  • In reply to Rose Marsh:

    Hi Rose,  thanks for your kind comments, the pond feature certainly helps attract all sorts of birds/wildlife and have found that even a small tray of water with a few sea pebbles or rocks in it will be appreciated by the birds during hot weather (not that we are going to get that for another 8 months ! )  If I find more images I will post them up for you.  

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"