Pond update, early June

I think it's time for a pond update, don't you? There are a few tadpoles lingering, but most of them have become tiny toads, so the pond focus right now is plants.

I've been doing planting around the perimeter, and the aquatic plants are really starting to take off, so I'm no longer hesitant to show you how it all looks.


Is it perfect yet? No, far from it. I really do enjoy having new planting areas around the rocks, but there are still things to get into the ground.

My focus right now is on the water plants though. After a really slow start they've exploded with new growth. My favorite is the frogbit, which looks like tiny lily pads:

Not only has it spread substantially, but it's been releasing little "baby" plants which have started growing in other parts of the pond too.

Speaking of little baby plants, I have no idea where this came from:

I believe it's duckweed, and it's starting to cover a decent-sized area back by the scouring rushes that the raccoons keep flattening. I like the variety it provides!

Here's a closer look:

I'll take an even closer look at these tiny plants sometime in the near future, but for now I'm moving on...

Back here is also where the Petasites japonicus is -- I really like that the plant with the smallest leaves is right next to the plant with the largest (or at least one of the largest):

This area doesn't stay as wet as it should for the Petasites, so I need to water them once in a while. That kind of goes for everything right now, as we haven't had any rain in quite some time though.

Back to the aquatic plants. I'm having my first taste (not literally) of hair algae:

It's growing in some parts of the pond, especially here where the water lily is. You know the algae is getting thick when it starts trapping bubbles and looking nasty:

I've been using barley pellets and extract and it's been doing a good job of cleaning up the water and preventing algae, but the pond is still pretty new so will take some time to reach the ideal balance, so I expect some algae now and then.

Although algae is not yet a big issue, one plant that is really going crazy is this one:

That's hornwort and is an oxygenator. It was originally sunk to the bottom of the pond but has grown so substantially that large sections are now floating on the water's surface -- not the ideal place for a plant that is supposed to be adding oxygen to the water.

I've come up with a pretty good solution though.

I take a rock and wrap some bird netting around it, securing it with a small cable tie.

Then I grab a big handful of the hornwort...

and using another cable tie attach it to the rock's netting:

Then I toss the whole thing into the deepest part of the pond and the rock drags the plant bundle down to the bottom, where the oxygen is needed most. I know the plant will eventually grow back up to the surface, but at least there's a lot of the plant in the deep water too.

It clears up some of the water surface, but not for long as this stuff grows fast:

Compare to the earlier photo and you'll see that I sunk quite a bit of the stuff.

I still like the frogbit the best I think:

I'll take a look at the plants that are around the pond soon, but here's another look:

click for much larger view

If you've got a good eye you'll see various Colocasia and Alocasia, some Irises, grasses, mint, sedges, a voodoo lily, and more. It's so fun having a clean slate to work with, and it makes me feel like I actually had a plan for all of these plants I've been hoarding.

I'm eager to see it start filling in more...

Not with algae though.


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sandy lawrence –   – (June 11, 2012 at 8:04 AM)  

Alan, your pond looks wonderful. I've learned a lot from this post. I'd never heard of frogbit before, but I love those tiny lilypad leaves, too. Looking forward to more posts on the pond and pond life! Thanks.

Lisa  – (June 11, 2012 at 10:04 AM)  

I should remember this from when you built the pond, but do you have any kind of pump or skimmer? I don't see a waterfall. Maybe you're filtering with a bog?

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (June 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM)  

Algae and all, your pond is a slice of backyard heaven I'd love to have. It's been great following the pond's progress from the start. I can't wait for the water lilies to bloom!

Alan  – (June 11, 2012 at 8:57 PM)  

Gerhard: I've already had one bloom (and posted about it). A second is about to open.

Alan  – (June 13, 2012 at 8:49 AM)  

Lisa: no pump or filter or bog. I'll see how things go this year but I don't expect problems.

Christine  – (June 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM)  

Oh wow, I absolutely LOVE your pond! You must be incredibly proud of it, it's really a beautiful pond.

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