LL's Gardening Diary

Members adventures in the Vegetable Patch all year round
Post Reply
User avatar
Legendary Laner
Posts: 14865
Joined: 30 Apr 2007, 09:39
Location: Cheshire (nr Chester)

Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by Mo »

That all sounds very complicated.
But I get the picture, and recognise the chain of unexpected consequences snags and frustrations.
Dance caller. http://mo-dance-caller.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-i-do.html
Sunny Clucker enjoyed Folk music and song in mid-Cheshire
User avatar
Legendary Laner
Posts: 9879
Joined: 13 Oct 2008, 21:59
Gender: Female
Location: Bristol

Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by sandy »

Good grief you really do have the patience of a saint :-D I love the fact you do something, it dosent work and you fathom it out )t'
The Pink Ladies..Audrey,Ingrid-Bergman,Madeleline,Norma-Jean,Dora,Janice,Jo,Robyn,Chrissy and Joyce
The Peds…Mork,Mindy,Bell,Saphire &
Vorky ,Blueped,Ginger,Ninger &Linky

Sunny Clucker was ere July 12-21 2012
Sunny Clucker was ere July 6 2016 to Sept 9th 2017
Sunny Clucker is here , rehomed Aug 18th 2018/
User avatar
Legendary Laner
Posts: 5445
Joined: 26 Mar 2011, 14:21

Re: LL's Gardening Diary

Post by Spreckly »

This year both my strawberry bed and rasps have failed. The gardener who comes to do jobs neither I nor my sons can, is coming to strim the whole former vegetable area, leaving some of the self seeded plants alone.

At the weekend one of my sons emptied my planters with dead plants into the compost bin. So disappointing, but I cannot lift a water container at present.

Honeysuckle is growing in the hedge between me and the neighbour whose garden is totally overgrown. To her nesting birds are more important than keeping the hedges at a reasonable height. Her weeds grow through into my garden, it is unlikely she will ever change. The honeysuckle has long stems, and smells amazing.

This year I made a second request for her climbing hydrangea to be trimmed away from my brickwork. Currently it grows over half the back window, the wash bouse wall, and chimney stack. Thankfully her adult son has cut it back from the boundary. Their idleness makes a great deal of extra work for me, and no doubt the neighbours at the other side.
User avatar
lancashire lass
Legendary Laner
Posts: 5945
Joined: 28 Jun 2007, 15:17

Pond armageddon

Post by lancashire lass »

All 3 koi and 2 of my biggest goldfish (Big Bertha the Shubunkin, and my orange tailed Sarasa) died earlier this week {cry} I'm partly at fault but I think it was a combination of factors which caught me off guard.

First, the neighbour's tree had in the past provided shade but this year, the patio has been in full sun and had resulted in a growth spurt of algae and duckweed. I used to clear about 2/3rds of duckweed off the surface at least once a fortnight but in this case, I only cleared a fraction so that it provided shade to stop the water getting too warm (a bit like a canopy) and also slow down the growth of algae (and the duckweed competed for the ammonia / nitrate waste in the pond water)

The fish were munching on the duckweed which I don't object to as it supplemented their diet with fresh greens, but they spat out the roots which got caught up in the submerged pump grille. It was not unusual to have to clear the grille at least once a day but it was becoming twice a day. It took just a couple of hours later for the flow of water to drop to barely a trickle. I switched the pump off with intentions of clearing out the pipes (every year, I would get bug larvae living inside the pipe that were obviously using the intake of water for feeding on algae and other things, and they would cause a blockage in the pipe to slow the flow rate) but a couple of days later, I realised the water had then been off for too long and the entire 200L biofilter now needed to be drained (water quickly goes off when left stagnant, and smells like sewage)

Now, it's never been a problem in the past leaving the pump off but something went very wrong this time. As far as I was concerned, the pond had an "eco system" with oxygenating plants taking up the fish waste and CO2, but I hadn't accounted for unusually cooler weather. The nights were actually quite cold and this had an impact on the water chemistry. Normally when the pump is running, there is movement of water, but without it, thermal layers at night formed which allowed toxins to build up more quickly. It really was quick - one day the fish are feeding fine, the next day they were dead. Some of the other big goldfish were gasping at the pond surface, and 3 were already floating on the surface (I thought they were dead until they swam away but clearly not far off)

I siphoned off the biofilter at least 3 times (600 litres) and had tap water running back into the pump. I cleared out the pipes and got the pump running again (and this time, no more blockages) as well as removed over 80% of the duckweed. The following morning I approached the pond expecting the worst but unbelievably, all the surviving fish are fine now. I still need to do a major maintenance so still loads to do.
Post Reply