Everyday Gardeners

ponder this

Written on December 4, 2009 at 9:14 am , by

This was moving week for Zach, our fantail goldfish. He summers in the water garden next to the front porch, but when cold weather hits, he moves to a half whiskey barrel in the greenhouse. If the pond were deep enough, he could stay outdoors all winter. However, local zoning restrictions require 6-foot-tall fencing around water features deeper than 18 inches–not exactly attractive in the front yard. So, every year we rescue Zach from the pond in fall, and transfer him to his winter haven.

empty pond That means bailing water out of the pond to catch him. Usually we wait until icicles dangle from the waterfall and a sheet of ice covers the pond. This year we took advantage of  last 60 degree F day to empty the pond. With temps in the teens this morning, we’re glad we did. It’s a lot more pleasant splashing through 60-degree water than slush! As you can see in the photo at left, we usually have algae build-up to clean out, too. That scrub down will wait until spring.

We plan to try new technology next year to cut down on algal growth. The folks at Smartpond recently gave a presentation to the Meredith garden editors about new products that they have developed. One  incorporates a UV light (which kills algae) with a water garden pump. We’ll give it a try next season and report back results on this blog.