Here in Manitoba we finally had our first double-digit sunny weekend to get to work in the yard!
We always look forward to this first ‘official’ clean-up weekend – what’s not to love? – we’re outside all day, the birds are singing, the dogs explore and stretch out in the sunshine and Ray and I are having fun doing what we do – working our butts off – in a good way of course. 🙂
We’re still a good three weeks away from our frost-free date for planting – so its the perfect time (while I wait ever so patiently to plant) to get the beds and borders ready for another season…but more importantly – the POND – is my first order of business. 27 goldfish living in two aquariums in our house over the winter agree with me.
I thought it would be helpful to show you our maintenance routine – and while it’s not very ‘pretty‘ after a long winter…leaves, acorns, sludge and overwintered aquatic plants…it will be pretty again very soon – I promise!
You can see from the picture above that I put all the deep water aquatic plants in the center of the pond and actually leave them there – freeze solid – for the winter. YES – they do come back to life, and if they don’t they contribute to the compost pile.
The lawn chair in the pond is just to keep the extension cord for the sump pump from dragging in the water.
We drain the pond using the sump pump because it flushes out most of the water – actually better than the pump we use during the summer months. So – it’s an odd temporary use of an old sump pump – but it gets the job done. The hose attached to the pump is long enough for us to drain the water into the surrounding woodlands.
Once the water has been drained as much as possible – that’s when the smelly work begins.
I swept up all the debris – aka SLUDGE – from the bottom of the pond and into a large shovel to dump into a wheelbarrow, or, as was the case this spring – into the tractor bucket. (GREAT suggestion Ray!) He drove the tractor right to the edge of the pond and lined up the bucket so it was easy for me to dump the sludge directly into it. Then when all of that was collected – he drove it to the compost and added the nutrient-rich, albeit smelly, goodness to the mix.
Once the majority of the sludge was removed – it was time to hose off the liner and rocks to give them a nice clean start to the season! Put the setting on ‘JET’ and away I go! It’s looking better already 🙂
We have a lot of Oak trees on our property – and despite our best efforts, the wind always deposits plenty of them in the rock wall surrounding the pond. This is my next step in the clean-up. There is no way around this manual task – pick the leaves out by hand and just keep moving along.
There is a reason I titled the post ‘PART 1‘…because we will be completing PART 2 of our clean-up today (Sunday)…which looks like this:
- Glue any loose flagstones that became dislodged over the years to the front pond edge
- Re-stack any fallen rocks from the edges of the pond
- Fill it up with water – HALLELUJAH!!
The maintenance steps I outlined above took the majority of my day to complete…so stick with me next week for PART 2 which will conclude our annual maintenance of the pond for another spring!
One final treasure I wanted to share…Nature always has a gift to give…mine yesterday was finding a bleeding heart peeking through the rock wall face beside the waterfall.
If you haven’t already signed up for my newsletter – please do so if you want to receive the free pdf ‘The Making of a Pond‘ where I go into more details on what goes into creating a pond from scratch. 🙂
Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!
How I built my pond!
A beautiful water feature will enhance your garden landscape and invite magic into your own backyard...it's easier than you think!