Pond cleaning, phase 1

I decided to start cleaning some of the leaves and excess oxygenator plants out of the pond last weekend while the weather was still somewhat warm, before the colder air and snow hit us this past week.

I wasn't really looking forward to this task, but I know it needs to be done before the water starts warming up, and rather than trying to get it all done in one go in March or April I decided to do it little by little. I tackle lots of garden projects that way -- weeding for instance.


As you can see in the first photo, there are quite a few leaves in the water. I wasn't sure what tools I'd need, so I brought the regular rake:

The shrub rake (I think it's called):

but ended up doing a lot of it by hand:

Wow, that water was cold!

I basically just grabbed handfuls of leaves and hornwort (mainly) and threw them behind me as I kneeled on the pond's edge:

This resulted in a ring of debris around the pond:

and piles where I brought up a big bunch by rake:

I also pulled all of the papyrus reeds out of the water, bending them over backward to keep them from hanging down into the water:

I only bent them back as it's not possible to break these by hand and I didn't want to walk back up to get the pruners.

The end result of all of this grabbing and raking was some quite murky water:

There's a goldfish or two in there

I did add more of the beneficial bacteria too, which will help to break down the organics:

I'll repeat this cleaning activity a couple more times until I've gotten as much of the "junk" out of the pond as possible. I'm not naive enough to think I've gotten it all out with one attempt. Plus, the gusty winds were dropping more leaves onto the water even as I worked:

So I'm not concerned about doing a "perfect" job, whatever that means.

I also took this opportunity to rake all of the rocks back up onto the "beach":

I'm going to have to do something to help keep these from sliding down so much, but it's difficult when deer and raccoons are walking on them all the time. (Sorry I don't have a "before" photo, but just picture a lot of the liner being exposed because so many of the rocks had been pushed downhill.)

This will be the second spring for the pond, but the first in which I've had fish and plants in it. I'm expecting an algae bloom once things warm up, but doing as much as I can to prevent it.

Can't wait to see the pond alive and circled by plants again!


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Lisa  – (February 25, 2013 at 6:11 PM)  

I'm so jealous that you can be working on your pond already! We're expecting another 6 inches of snow tonight so it'll be weeks before I see my fish again.

scottweberpdx  – (February 25, 2013 at 9:06 PM)  

Oh man, my hands are cold just thinking of that!

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