Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pump is not pumping

My fountain pump is not pumping.
I've filled the fountain with water but pump is not pumping.


First of all, plug the pump in somewhere else to make sure the outlet is working. Plug it in while it's in a bucket or pot of water. Does it work in there? If not, check where the intake is. In there is an impeller, like a propeller except it sucks water in instead of pushing it away. Is the impeller turning? If not, unplug it and try to loosen it up with a screwdriver, turning it like you do a garbage disposal when it stops working. Now put it back in the bucket and try again.
If it is working in the bucket, it's not going through the tubing in the fountain. If it's a huge fountain check all the plumbing fittings and hoses. If it's a tiny table top fountain, check the fittings as well. On small fountains there is a place to regulate the flow. Check that - it's usually something circular where you can turn the water higher or lower.
If none of those things work, return the pump. It's faulty.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lilies in deep water

How can I grow lilies in a 6 foot pond?
It's 6 ft deep and 5 by 6 I think? My family wants to grow water lilies.  How can you do that in such a deep pond?

Lilies like to be at about 3'. I would put some painted cinder blocks or other pedestal in the pond to put the lily pots on. They will be fine. Paint the cinder blocks to keep them from leaching lime. You can use any spray paint and they will not be toxic.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Bog garden spot

I have a spot in my yard that stays wet all the time... what could it be?
Its not the septic tank.  I have no leaks from a water line because my bill is low. There is a spot that just stays wet. What could it be and how could i "dry it up"?
Could it be a natural spring? and if so what should i do? )r could it be something completely different?

  • It could be that the water table is high in your yard and your yard is a bit low there. I suppose it could be a spring. I would build a bog garden and take advantage of it. Here's how:
  • http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/bog_gar…

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Pond plants

What garden pond plants are best for zone 5?
I have about a 350 gallon pond with a waterfall. The pond is lined. 

What plants can be used with a lined pond given there is no soil at bottom to plant anything in?

In a lined pond, put your plants in a pot or leave them in the pot they came in. Make sure the top of the pot is about 1" below the water surface. Tropicals like lotus or tropical water lilies will not do well where you live, but there are many aquatic plants that will. Hardy water lilies will be wonderful and make it through your wicked winter. Here's an article I wrote about more hardy pond plants:

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

Friday, May 07, 2010

Ponds on Deck

How do I make a pond on my deck/porch?
My back deck has a gate and lately I've been thinking about putting a pond back there for my turtles.
I have several questions so I'm hoping someone can help me out a little . . .

I've been thinking a lot about the container:
Maybe I'll get an old metal wash tub. Or I could get a barrel, cut it in half and build a wooden frame for it. Or possibly just buy a preformed pond from Home Depot and use it.
The only thing I know for sure is that I want my pond to be unique.

I've also been thinking about shade, would plants in and around it be enough?

And can this only be a summer thing? Or is it possible for the turtles to adapt when it starts to get cold again?

Any info/ideas would help me.
-Thanks so much!!!


There are several ways you can have your pond. I would advise against any preformed one from any big box stores. They are flimsy, crack and break in a season.
Rubbermaid makes horse drinking troughs in several sizes. They run maybe $40.00 and hold up forever. You can have a pond in anything that holds water.
You could cut a hole in your deck, put a base underneath the pond and have your pond even with the deck, or maybe 6" above it.
Plants around it would be fine, but I would also add aquatic plants in pots in the water for additional shade.
It would depend on where you live if you have to take it down in the winter. If the pond would freeze solid, yes, the water would have to come out and everything in the pond as well. Heaters work, but not well enough if the pond is above ground and the weather is below freezing for days/weeks on end.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Ponds, pumps and chemicals

Do I need a pump for a backyard pond?
We have a already built three level pond. We didn't built it it was here when we moved in. I was wondering a few things.
1) Can we fill it and keep fish and plants in it without using a pump or filter?
2) How complicated is it to hook up a pump or filter for one?
3) Are there chemicals I could add to keep water looking good without using pumps and still put fish and plants in it??
4) Do you know any good sites that tell u about backyard pond maintenance?

1) You do not need a pump/filter if you don't want one, but you must use proper submerged and floating vegetation: One bunch of submerged and at least 60% of the top of the pond covered in floating vegetation.
2) It is not at all complicated. A pump with a hose that runs from the bottom to the top. Check your height and get a pump that has enough head to pump the water high enough.
3) No, if you want fish, you cannot use chemicals.
4) Yes . Mine: http://www.pondlady.com
I look forward to seeing you there.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Toads and the Pond

How to attract toads to your backyard?
I love toads and I have had many pet ones, but I really want to attract them to my backyard. I have 2 big dogs, a pond with a waterfall with lots of rocks around it but not any plants except for grass and I want to know how to attract toads to my yard.

If you have a pond, you will have hundreds of toads. They will begin arriving soon, will sing out mating calls and lay eggs in your pond. Then you will have more toads than you ever dreamed possible, and fewer mosquitoes and flies.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Troubleshooting Small Pumps

Sarah Peyton Step Garden LED fountain help?
For Mother's Day I bought a little Sarah Peyton Step Garden LED fountain. Well, I decided to give it to her early. It would appear that we need some trouble shooting. After adding the batteries, water and rocks all we get is the light. No trickle trickle of soothing water! Nothing in the instructions explains this or troubleshoots this.

Water needs a tube to get from the pump to the top of the fountain. Perhaps it is detached or missing altogether.
First check to see if the pump is working. Touch it. If it hums, at least it is running. Then check the bottom where the water is pulled into the pump. There is an impeller in there - looks like a propeller, but pulls water in rather than pushing it out. You may have to remove the pump and put it in a pan of water to see if the impeller is working.
If you want to try to fix it, remove it from the water, unplug it, and use a screwdriver to free it up so it spins. Then put it back and see if it's working.
If it is pushing water out, then check any tubing that is attached to it to make sure it is attached where it is supposed to be.
If it is not working, rather than try to repair it, I would return the fountain for another one. Those little pumps fail repeatedly, so start with a new one that is working.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Fire Feature in the Pond

In-pond propane fire feature?
I'm a mechanical engineer and want to add a very unique flare to my back patio. I was trying to decide between a pond and a propane fire feature (in a rock bed) when I was struck by an idea...could I put a propane burner of some sort under the water in a pond and so the gas would surface and produce a flame? I know I've seen it on a large scale (Disneyland), but does anyone know of this being done in residential application? I realize lighting the fire may be a trick. Perhaps an electronic igniter just above the surface? Flow would probably have to be enough to keep a continuous stream of gas through the water or I expect the fire would go out between bubbles. Input or other fun ideas?

If it's been done, you can do it. My suspicion is that Disney has a small pipe going from an exterior propane tank through the water and stopping at the surface, perhaps even sticking out a few inches. The public can't see it, but it has to be there.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Turtle pond

I made a pond for my turtles, what can I put in it so the have a dry floating area to sun?
I bought a pond that is 140 gallons at Home Depot, set it up with the pump, filter, fountain, and put some rocks at the bottom of it. At the moment I have my three turtles in a tank inside of my house, and I want to move them to the pond. Is there a company that offers floating turtle "islands" that I can put in the pond so they can sun? I bought the one from the pet store, and they are so big it sinks when they get on it.

Any suggestions would be great. Such as the company that sells them, etc.

This is the first time I am putting my turtles in a pond/ caring for a pond. Any tips would be great too.


A rubber pad like you kneel on in the garden (if you are old and have bad knees like one of two of us have) will work well. If you need more than one, just cable tie them together where the handle is.
I would think about just putting a log in there just like turtles have naturally, so they can pull themselves out of the water to sun themselves.

Because you have turtles, your pond will get pretty dirty, so keep lots of plant material in it to help keep it clean. They will eat it, but depending on their size, maybe it will grow faster than they can eat it. You need a filter system to keep the pond clear - at least a little clear.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Pond side caved in

How to fix my pond side as it has caved in?
on one side the soil has come down and pushed pond liner so now got a massive bulge on one side
  • Here's what I do.
  • Buy 26 gauge roofing flashing, 15 pound roofing felt and some 1/2" PVC pipe. 
  • Pump out the pond,remove the liner, then make the sides of the pond straight up and down. Run the flashing all the way around, stake it with the pipe, cut to 2' or whatever you need. Bend the top edge of the flashing over toward the outside so it does not penetrate the liner. Cover the entire inside of the pond with 15 pound roofing felt. Now back fill where there is space behind the flashing. Do this carefully so you do not force the flashing to bend in toward the pond. Put the liner back, refill the pond and put the plants and fish back in.
  • You can see photos on my website at http://www.pondlady.com under 'how to build a pond.'
  • Good luck.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Drainage and ponds

If I dig a pond in my side yard will it help my drainage issues?
In my side yard the lawn doesn't drain very well. If I dig a pond in this area would all the standing water run into it since the pond would be the lowest lying area in that the lawn? IF I did dig a pond in this area would there be any legal concerns since this part of our property does not have a fence around it? Would I have to worry about drowning issues and lawsuits?


You would be digging a retention pond, not an ornamental pond. You might need a permit, so check with your local building code enforcement office.
You could dig out an area less than a foot deep and put a bog garden there and need no permits or fences.
You might also think about a french drain to help with drainage problems.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tiny ponds

Ideas for the base of a small pond?
Hi I am going to make a small nature pond, it can't be too big as I don't have the space or money, really it is for dragon flies, and frogs,toads and newts, not fish. I could get a pond liner but its hard to find one which is small so what other kind of container could I use? I have a rounded plastic tub a little larger than a washing up bowl but it doesn't slope like it should to seem natural. Could I get the smallest pond liner possible and just cut off the excess?
Any other suitable container I could use?
Thanks :)
A horse feeding trough is about $40.00 USD at a feed store. They run about 3' across and 2' deep. 
You can also use your rounded plastic tub and surround it with flat rocks that stick out over the edges a bit to hide them. I have made ponds from casserole dishes and even old aquariums. If it holds water, you can make a pond. Just be sure you put the proper submerged and floating vegetation in it and a mosquito fish. Or use a Mosquito Dunk occasionally to keep mosquitoes away.
The top right photo shows a pond in a casserole dish:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pond liners and tree roots

Have your pond liners been poked by tree roots?
I've got a EPDM liner, and I'm not going to use underlayment.
There are an avocado tree, an apple tree, an orange and a willow. They are about 4 feet away from the border of my pond. The pond is just 15 in below the ground.
I wonder if the tree roots can poke the liner? or it will just run around the liner?

Your liner will be fine with those trees. Bamboo and banana trees poke through liners, no others. But it is safer to use an underlayment. Use 15# roofing felt. It's cheap and easy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Putting stones on the pond bottom


What stones can I put in the bottom of my new pond?
Can I put pea shingle or similar, I have a mixture of shingle and slightly larger stones in my garden already that I no longer require, so thought I could put them at the bottom of my new pond? I will be getting goldfish for it.

Please, no stones in the pond. You will go crazy trying to get them out when it comes time to clean the pond. They serve no purpose at all except to muddy the water. Put submerged and floating vegetation in the pond, then put goldfish in. Don't forget the dechlor.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Pond full of Water 'Hoglice'?
Hiya, I have been moved into my parents' house which came complete with garden pond which i know little about. Today i started pulling out some of the pond weed as there is quite a lot,and it is infested with what i believe to be hoglice, the weed is literally running alive with it, it's not something I have ever heard of or come across before, the pond otherwise seems okay, full of tadpoles at the moment and only a couple of fish and some babies which were born in the pond last year. should I just leave these lice? Is there anything I can do to get rid? are they causing harm? 

Hoping someone with pond knowledge will be able to assist on this one as I don't want to completely mess up the ecology of the pond.

I would leave them alone. They have a predator:
but that predator is invasive and destroying water life all over the UK. I think the ecology of the pond will be fine.
I have a philosophy of benevolent neglect when it comes to ponds and it has served me well for over 20 years.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Natural Bottom Pond

How do I get rid of the grass in my pond?
I have a medium sized pond that has a lot of fish in it and a lot of grass too. I want to get rid of the grass so I can cast my reel and catch something other then grass and lily pads. What can I use to do this?

You will have to rake the grass out. If you want to have a fishing pond, the rules are different than if you want an ornamental one.
Get a small flat bottomed boat and a rake. Rake the grass into the boat and deposit it into your compost heap when you are done. Be prepared for a dirty, nasty job.
BTW, any chemicals that kill the grass will also kill the fish.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pond Pump Blocked

How do I keep my 90 gallon pond pump from getting blocked up so often?
I see ponds with waterfalls in parks that seem to run fine all the time. I need to pull mine up and clean all the leaves and other debris that find their way in about once every 3-5 days or it slows down to a trickle. There must be a trick I don't know about since I know not everyone is pulling up their pond pumps to clean them out like this.

Small pumps like that are almost impossible to keep clean. They are made for indoor fountains, not outdoor ponds. I would probably try to make a 'sock' for it out of a fine mesh. Be sure the sock material is kept away from the impeller because it will suck the sock right on it. You can make a box out of hardware cloth, cover the box with old panty hose or coarse foam and that will work better than what you have now, but in the long run, you will be better off with a larger pump made for outdoor use. It will probably come with it's own filter.
Another thing to try is to fill up a black plastic grow pot with lava rock and put your pump in the middle of it. That way the lava rock will act as a filter and you will get a longer time between cleanings.
Oh, and elevate the pump so it is not on the bottom of the pond. That will buy you some more time between cleanings.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pump flow control

How might you control the pump speed of a fountain in a pond, so that the water doesn't spray too high or how?

Your Answer:
A small pump will have a circular dial to regulate the flow. The larger pumps, meant for outside, have no regulator on them. You can use a clamp which doesn't work very well or you can T off the hose and make two or more outlets to regulate the flow. Just let one hose stay in the pond and hook the other to the statue.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Controlling pond algae

Has anyone used the Water Wych in their ponds to control algae?
They sell these things at pond supply stores and it shows that you just put it in your pond to help eliminate algae and is safe for plants and fish.

  • Answer:

  • Algae control can be done much cheaper and easier. This is just a box that holds barley and carbon. It will work, but so will barley bales and activated carbon from the fish store. It does not help with blanketweed or string algae. The only thing I have found that works with string algae is Microbe-LIft PL. 
  • I wouldn't spend the money on a plastic box when I could put activated carbon in a torn panty hose leg and throw it in the water. Barley comes in its own bag. 
  • To learn more about controlling algae, this is an article I wrote: http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/pondalg…

Friday, April 16, 2010

Filter media

What's the best filter media for my fish pond and waterfall?
I've used Spring Flo Bio Ribbon but am thinking about Bio balls. Do they go in the tank with my pump?

I would use lava rock in a bag. It's cheap and works great. I put them in an old panty hose leg and tie it closed. Make it so the pump draws water through it or water is pumped through it and then over the waterfall.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Balancing your pond


Can I put goldfish in the small ponds in my yard?
I have three or four small ponds that measure anywhere from to four feet across and a foot, foot and a half deep. I want to clean them up this summer and make them look nice and I thought some fish would be a nice addition.


These are a few pond rules to know. Makes pondkeeping easy.

Balance your pond ecologically. Use bog plants like irises or umbrella plants. You must have oxygenators or submerged plants. The best is anacharis, followed by cabomba and hornwort. You must have one bunch of these submerged plants per square foot of pond surface. These plants arrive with a rubber band holding them together. Remove the rubber band before you put the plants in your pond. If you don’t want them floating freely, you may pot them up in several pots that sit on the bottom of your pond. The submerged plants are fertilized by fish waste and CO2, a fish byproduct. The fish eat the submerged plants, but they grow faster they the fish can eat them. Nice cycle, huh? Nature takes care of itself if we can j ust leave her alone. If you have too many fish, they will eat all your submerged plants and you have to start over again. A good rule for fish load is 1 linear foot of fish per 25 square feet of pond surface area; tails don’t count. If your pond gets green, have patience. It will fix itself

When pH gets on the basic side algae flourishes. Vinegar is weak and it takes forever (days) to neutralize. But it takes an expert to use muriatic acid properly, so do not put concentrated muriatic acid in your pond to balance pH unless you know what you are doing. You can buy commercial products, usually called pH down or some such. They are expensive, but work well.

It is good to have algae slime on the sides of your pond... this is a sign of a healthy pond and can generate up to 70% of the oxygen needed for your pond.

If you feed your fish, these simple ways of keeping your pond clear will not work. You will need a filter, preferably a biofilter.

You must cover at least one half the top of the pond with floating plants. Parrots’ feather is great, as are water hyacinths, water lettuce and water lilies. If you live in the tropics, you can have beautiful tropical water lilies. You must be willing to either sacrifice them in the winter or store them away until warmer weather arrives again in the spring.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fish feeding, balanced pond


You talk about Water lilies on your web site are these your favorites or are these the flowers that generate the most questions?

Water lilies? Yes, they do generate questions. But more questions are asked about murky, green ponds which leads to talking about submerged vegetation, the most important plant in the pond.  The water lilies are what sells the pond and are great for providing shade, keeping the pond clear and protecting the fish from predators by giving them a place to hide.

  I know you feel strongly about not feeding the fish in your pond, can you tell me why this is?

If you feed the fish, you introduce a foreign substance. A balanced pond has 1 bunch of submerged vegetation per square foot of pond surface. The fish eat the plants, provide fertilizer for them. And the plants provide 02 for the fish and grow faster than the fish can eat it.  If the fish get fed, they grow too big, the bioload gets too much for the size of the pond. Soon you have huge fish, too much fish poop, not enough 02. The huge fish begin to die and all the fish poop pollutes the water. The pond becomes a great example of how we are polluting our planet.

 How do you go about achieving a correctly balanced water garden?

See the last answer: One bunch of submerged vegetation per sf of pond surface area, at least 1/2 of the pond shaded with floating plants, no fish feeding, no run off getting into the pond, no more than 1 linear foot of fish per 25 square feet of pond surface.

BTW, All the previous information is for goldfish ponds only. A koi pond is an outdoor aquarium and must be treated as such with filtration and food.  If you have a koi pond, you cannot have water lilies nor do you ever need submerged vegetation because those little devils eat it like Hershey bars. Even building a koi pond is different from building a goldfish pond.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Solar pumps

How to pump water from a stream?
I'm looking for a small pump that can run on solar power and pump water from a tiny stream behind my house straight up about 10' to a barrel that I'll use to water my garden. The trick is it has to be low gallons per minute but also be able to pump high enough and run on solar power.

Solar powered pumps are not capable of that. Solar power has a long way to go before being powerful enough to pump a 10' height. You could set up a sump pump in the stream that worked on a timer and pumped water when you needed/wanted it. It would have to be a relatively large pump to have a 10' head, perhaps as much as 2500 gph.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Water plants and soil?

Do Water Plants work without soil?
I have a small pond with no soil, only pond pebbles. Water is about a foot deep. Will water plants such as lilies grow without the soil? Or do I have to have soil?

Pot up your pond plants. They don't need to be in soil, but they do need to be in a pot. Use pebbles if you wish or any old soil you have lying around your yard and put pebbles on top.
DO NOT plant directly in the rocks in the bottom of the pond. The plants will grow everywhere and you will have to get them out of those rocks. If it were me, I would remove the rocks now before you have to deal with cleaning them. But whatever you do, don't plant anything directly in them.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Pond pumps and underlayment

Pond Pumps: GPH and Water Circulation?
Why does a pump have to circulate 1/2 to the entire volume of water in one hour?
What pond liner, underlayment, and pump would be suitable for a pond 20 X 20 feet that is 3 feet deep?

Use 40 mil butyl rubber for a liner. You can use commercial underlayment or roofing felt. Old carpet can rot and start to stink as time passes.
To find liner size, measure the bottom, both sides and add 6'. I would get a 3500 gph pump so water will properly circulate. Circulating water adds O2 to the water, so the fish can breathe.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

String Algae!

How to get rid of string algae in our ornamental pond.?
We've tried 4 or 5 different chemicals including clarifier and algaecide. We have a barley pad floating in it, we have a fountain running and a creek running into it, we also have about 30-40 comet goldfish and koi, and about 6 plants growing in it as well (water lily, cattails, irises) although they are not fully grown yet. The algae lines the entire bottom and sides and is about 3 inches thick. Would a pond vaccum help? We don't know what else to do :(

I have found that Microbe LIft PL works very well to eliminate this stuff. Get as much as you can out and then put the Microbe LIft in according to directions. It's an enzyme and won't harm your fish or plants.
You don't need a pond vac at all.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

My pond is losing water

How to arrange my rocks in my pond so they do not splash out and lose water?
The water looks like they are causing me to lose water off the rocks.  How can arrange them so it does not happen?

  • The water area needs to be twice as wide as the height of the waterfall. If it is not, the water will splash out. That's one of those laws of physics that none of us can break. Even if the water flow is in little drops, it will still splash out. So lower your water height or make the pond bigger.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Solar Powered Fountains

    How can a pond fountain work with a solar panel?
    I try to put a fountain in my garden pond I would like to make it solar powered and don't know how. I’ve see it in garden magazines and I would like to do that in my yard.

    You can buy them. Oase makes the best one I know. That said, the technology for solar powered pumps is not as good as it could be and the failure rate is high. I wish they were higher on the list of important things to do.

Monday, April 05, 2010

What pump should I buy?

Hi. I am wanting to find out what pump I need.
I am putting in a garden pond with a waterfall that will come down a 3 ft gradual slope. How do I know why gph pump I need to carry the water back up? Do you recommend filter boxes to protect the pump?


I would buy at at least a 2500 gph pump. I always suggest that folks buy a bigger pump than they think they need.
Yes, I advise a pre-filter. I like a box because the larger area does not gum up the impeller as fast.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Patching a pond liner


Is there a paste of some kind that will repair tiny holes in a rubber liner for a pond?

There is no paste, but there are patches that you can just attach. The patches are sticky on one side, so get the liner dry and put the patch on. I often help it seal to the liner by blowing it with a hair dryer.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Water Lilies

How do water lilies grow?

They grow just like any other plant, but they grow in water. They grow from rhizomes planted in most any media, need feeding with aquatic fertilizer twice a month during their growing season. That season starts in the spring when the first pads reach the top of the water. They need at least 5 hours of sun daily in order to flower, come in hardy and tropical, night and day blooming varieties. And are beautiful.

Friday, April 02, 2010

koi skimmer, filter, pump

I have read a lot about building a koi pond but i am unsure of where to put the skimmer, filter and pump?
Does anyone have a diagram of where to put all the stuff, preferrably the pond would be L shaped. or can you tell me please because videos on youtube etc... dont really say where the filter goes.

You don't need a skimmer at all. You do need a filter tho, bugt it doesn't matter where you put it. Put it where it is easiest to hide and to clean.
Here's an article that I wrote about how to build a koi pond.

Oh and thoughts about skimmers:

Thursday, April 01, 2010

DIY underwater lights

Have you ever made underwater fish pond lights yourself, HOW ?
I refuse to spend 80 dollars or more on little 12 volt LED lamps or other types. What about LED lamps in water-tight containers, SELF made? Has anyone here done it, and what problems did you encounter? The solutions?
Thanks. My goldfish pond is 3 feet deep in the middle, and maybe 6' x 8' rectangle. 33 fish. Some babies every spring.

I would not try to make underwater lights myself. Electricity and water together can be deadly. Sealing the lights safely will be impossible. Don't try it.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Water hyacinths

I live in zone Georgia, zone 8a.
Water hyacinths grow well in my area...just not my pond?

My pond has koi.
My water hyacinths were in floating nets.

They all died in the winter.

Someone said seeds can live under the old hyacinths until spring and then grow.

Haven't seen any action yet.

Normal? Do I need to wait longer? Are they all just dead?


Your koi are eating the roots of your hyacinths. No matter what plants you have in with your koi, they will eat and love them.  The floating nets that supposedly keep the plants safe usually don't work very well and koi are pretty smart fish.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Frogs and Toads


I have a smallish pond (about 330 gallons) and each year we get many frogs and toads. Last year we had huge amounts of spawn, both frog and toad. The pond ended up teaming with tadpoles to the point where I was concerned for the health of my fish (lack of oxygen). The froglets then spread through my lawn making it unusable.
This year we already have even more than last year, and the 50+ frogs and toads continue to mate. Are there any organisations that would re-home the frogs/toads/spawn?

It seems my fish are too small to eat the spawn, causing an imbalance.

Toads and frogs are so very valuable. Not very many survive, so please allow them to stay in the resort you have built for them. Tadpoles will not hurt your fish and the fish will not eat the tadpoles either. Nor will fish eat the eggs. It's only for a few days a year and then the mosquito eating critters are off doing their jobs until they return to your house again next spring.

Monday, March 29, 2010

DIY Pond Filter

From Craig Hahn, veteran pond keeper and all around handy guy:

Just thought I might mention a solution that I have come up with - once the ice is off the pond here. (More snow here yesterday. yuk!)
I have a half wine barrel (~20gallons) that I fill with 3" lava rock (to handle the inflow) then use that fiber material that they sell for pillows - still can see the look of the sales lady when I told her I was using this for a bacteria medium). I tip the barrel so the water spills over into the pond and cover the top of that fill material with a layer of foam thick enough to lay flat. I cover this with small - medium rocks to make it look nicer. Then the pond water is forced into the bottom (lava rocks) and is filtered and nutrients consumed when it warms up a bit by the bacteria (I don't add any product - just use nature). You could clean the filter material if you like after the water is cleared but I don't - I love the natural way of things.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

GFI reset

Why doesnt my pond pump work anymore?
I cut my hedge and severed the electric cable causing a fuse to blow, after resetting the trip, everything worked except the pump, even though the socket it was connected to was live, I had not cleaned the pump filter for many months, but I cleaned it all up, I found the impellor will now move, but when I switch on there is no sound or movement at all from the pump, all fuses are ok, the make is Oase filtral 5000 D I need a new pump?

Try this: Plug the pump into something else. Put it into a bucket of water or somesuch. If it works, then the problem is in your electrical socket. Also check the outlet for a GFI. It should have one. It will be a red or black button that turns off the pump in case water gets to the outlet. Push it to reset.
If your pump still does not work, you will need a new one. It may be under warranty. Oase has great warranties. Check and see.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rock fountain question

Stone rock fountain question?
at a rock store I saw a fountain that was really cool but I can't figure out what it is called. It was just a elongated rock with a hole drilled through it standing up so that it was tall, hooked up to a pump. I just want to know what you would call it and also if you know of any good priced and reliable sites or places to buy them.

Most stone yards will drill a hole in any rock you find there. It will cost you a few bucks, but not much. If they specialize in pond rocks, they may have some with the hole already drilled. Just attach a hose to a pump, put the rock in the pond with the pump in the water and plug in the pump. You now have a great fountain.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Algae Control

Help with pond and summer algae?
I have a 2 acre pond surrounded by mostly trees red (swamp maples) and the pond is mostly fed by runoff at the bottom of a hill, the pond was built in a swampy area (there are a number of seeps in the area, so it is fed by seasonal seeps/springs also) I usually have overflow for 4 to 5 months of the year of at least 10 gpm (more when it rains)...

The trouble I have is in July/August when there is no overflow and I lose from evaporation 3 to 4 feet of water level and the pond develops green algae, I am aware of using barley straw to control the algae, Is there any other methods to help?

There are several products made by Microbe-lift that will keep your water clear. I have used many of them and they all work well.  I would start with Microbe-Lift Sludge and then use Microbe lift PL after that.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keeping mosquitoes away

Hi. I have a small outdoor fountain. I'm not home a lot of the time, so I don't want it to run continuously. Where I live, Louisiana, we have a lot of mosquitoes, and I'm afraid the standing water will attract them. Does anyone know how I can keep the mosquitoes away without harming birds? Someone told me to use a small amount of bleach, but I'm worried about the birds. Thanks for any help!!

There's a product called Mosquito Dunks. Safe for everything and gets rid of all mosquitoes. You can get it at your nursery or maybe even a big box store.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pond installation cost

What does a 25 by 25 pond cost if put in by a professional?

Somewhere between $20,000 and $25.000, depending on where you live and what jobsite problems might be encountered.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pond Chemicals

I use Interpet also know as Blagden chemicals in my pond. I just wanted to know whether I can use several of them at a time, like can I use chlorinate when I refill my pond then also add some plant fertilizer (flora boast)?

You need no chemicals in your pond except dechlor to remove the chlorine. Never ever put chlorine in it. It will kill the plants and fish. If you have an algae bloom, you can use an enzyme - Microbe Lift PL if need be. If you fertilize too much at once, your pond will turn green.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Growing Lotus

I have a water lotus that is rooted and growing in still water but I am wanting to add running water that will agitate the water around my lotus plant. Will this water movement disturb the plants growth? I know plants like the water lily do not do good with water movement.

Neither lotus nor water lilies like moving water. If you can put the lotus far away from the moving water, you will be OK.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Floating plants

Are there any plants that float entirely on the water,with roots hanging down?(except duckweed & water sprite)?

Mosaic is one. Parrots feather can float without soil as well. Certainly water lilies and lotus need to be in pots or in soil.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

How to get a pond clear fast!

My pond has been murky for about a month now. We put algae killer in but it is still the same. we have fish and frogs in there. what can we do to make it really clear and FAST ?

To get your pond clear FAST, you can rig up a quick filter. Put a large plastic pot on top of something in your pond. Be sure it is out of the water. I have used a lawn chair. Put 4" of foam rubber in the bottom of the pot. Run the hose from the pump into the pot. Hold it down with a brick. Be ready to clean the foam rubber every couple of hours or when the water spills over the top of the pot. Your water will be clear in about 48 hours.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Friday, March 19, 2010

Swimming Pool Liner

Can i make a pond with pool liner?
I bought a 12'x12' pool last year and now it's in the basement put away -
those inflatable pools
Can I reuse it to build a 8'x4' pond with this same liner?
I'll put those rolls you have to put before the liner also.
So do you think it will work? Like I wouldn't see why not and how long would it last? How long would a normal pond liner last?

They get brittle when exposed to the sun usually within 2 years. Use a butyl rubber liner - they come with at least a 20 year guarantee. You could use your pool liner for your underlayment.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Concrete pond problems

How do I keep pond water from going away?
I cement the pond with 3 layers and Im not going to do another one. I have 2 roots in there that I cemented, but Im not sure if there taking in water still. I have 2 layers of brown paint in there and still, the water keeps going away. Help please.

Concrete is awful material to use for a pond. It is just too brittle. You need butyl rubber and not bought from a big box store. Google pond liners and have it shipped to you. It will be less than the retail stores sell it for. I would break out your concrete first tho so water does not get trapped between the new liner and the old concrete. And use an underlayment to protect your liner. Roofing felt works very well.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I think these plants are like little elephant ears. I need help?
I dont know what they are called but they are little bulbs they looked like little elephant ears but they are red and maybe black? Dark purple, something like that. I would like to know what they are called and also when I should plant them... any help would be awesome, I'm only 21 and im not the best at gardening yet. Thanks

It's taro. You can get it in dark dark almost black, striped, or solid green. I have them in the pond. They do have a tendency to jump out of the pond and travel far, so watch out.
The bulbs can be fermented and eaten as poi. Not by me, understand, but by many.
Plant them now if it's spring where you are, but they do come back after a winter....and back and back and back....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to bid landscaping


How do I bid some landscaping?
I have some work that a friend wants me to do. He needs a couple flower beds put in with some brickpavers, top soil, and mulch. Should I bid by the square foot or figure out the cost of materials and then estimate the amount of hours it will take?

Cost of materials +10%
Labor + costs of insurance and other benefits. Usually 35% of labor costs will cover that.
Other overhead: Cost of gasoline, truck insurance, office costs, paper, pens, computer, etc.
Any other costs included in the job.
Add it up and add at least 15% profit.
That should do it for you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Natural Pond

How to revive my natural pond?
We purchased a house about 2 years ago. The people who lived here before us did not take care of the property and left the place in pretty bad shape. There is a natural pond in the back that is scummy, full of all kinds of plant life, and during the summer can be pretty stagnant. It is a large pond about 5500 sq ft. There are lots of frogs and turtles and toads in it but really no fish. It is natural so there is no liner concrete, rubber nothing, just a dirt bottom. The tributeries leading away from the pond dry up and are just a hunk of scum during late summer. We were told that the people before us rerouted waterways dealing with this pond, but we do not know for sure. We really have a lovely piece of property and would like our pond to be clean and pretty. What can I do to fix this problem? I have searched on the web and only found things dealing with man made rubber bottom or concrete ponds.

Start by raking out all the old plant material. Wash it off and put back about half of it. After that, put in a floating pump to circulate the water. Plant around the edges with natural bog plants. If you put fish in, use goldfish only and do not feed them.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Growing calla lilies

How to grow calla lilies?
I'm going to try to grow some calla lilies this year...I already have the bulbs...and I was just wondering if you can give me some tips...

Put them in the ground as soon as you can work it. They love filtered shade and even more love to have their feet wet. I use them in shade ponds when possible. The flowers are incredibly gorgeous. Good luck.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pond pumps

Do I need a pump for a pond?
I am using it to grow lotuses, but I also want to add a few goldfish to it to make it more interesting. Would I need to buy a pump for the fish, or would the plants provide the oxygen needed?

You don't need a pump for your pond. If you add goldfish, you must add submerged vegetation for them to eat, but never feed them anything else or the water will get foul. The submerged vegetation (anacharis, hornwort, cabomba) will add enough O2 for the fish.
Add a few mosquito fish to keep mosquitoes away.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cal Pumps

Does a cal pond pump make noise when on?
We have a pond and bought a cal pump for the filtration of the pond and was wondering if we'd know that it was on. Does a cal brand pond pump make any noises, such as a running noise? Also, how do I work it? how to turn on, keep on, and how to get it working.

Calpump makes one of the finest pond pumps. It makes no noise at all. You can feel it humming if you touch it, but that's it. To work it, drop it in the water, and plug it in. Hook it up to the hose you want it to pump water through before you put it in the water. I would use a prefilter to keep debris out of the impeller.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Koi and filters

Is it possible to turn a pool filter into a filter for my Koi pond?
I know i can't use the sand in it, I will take that out. What type of media should i use?

Yes it's possible, even recommended. If you want to take it out, use lava rock, beads or bioballs instead.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fishing pond

Can i put a pond in my backyard? (for fishing)?
hello. i live in ohio and i want to put a pond in my backyard but i want it for fishing. what can i do to have the pond without hitting any lines of pipes?

It can be done, but it's not easy. First call your local utility company and have them mark where their wires and pipes are.
After that, find a local aquaculture place and ask for help as far as how deep it has to be, and what you can stock successfully, etc. Usually a local community college can help as well. Another resource is your local extension service.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Wetland Gardens

How do I create a wetland garden?
We live on a lake in Michigan and I want to start planning a wetland garden. We have an area by the lakeshore that is always mushy, so I'd like to embrace mother nature and plant a wetland garden in this area that will look better than muddy grass. And I would hope this area would improve drainage in my yard. How much maintenance does this type of garden require? What mulch or other bedding material would be best? The area is probably 30 ft long by 5-8 feet.

Here's an article I wrote about building a bog garden.
In Michigan, my home state, I would use cattails and hardy rushes. Drainage would indeed be improved and the area would look nice. Maintenance would be very little. I mulch mine a couple times a year.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Ponds and pumps

Is it possible to have 2 ponds running off 1 filter & 1 pump?
i want to add a second pond ,but i would like to know if it is possible to use just 1 filter & 1 pump ? if so how do i do it or do i need to use 2 pumps & 2 filters i should also say that i want to run a waterfall flowing down into the bottom pond from the top 1 any info would be much appreciated many thanks

I suppose it is possible. You would have to use an inline (out of the water) pump and somewhere in the hose put a Y so each pond could have water moving. To get two waterfalls, you would need a HUGE inline pump, but they are made, I know. You could use one bead filter that was also out of the water. You are looking at lots of dollars. It would be cheaper to use two pumps, I think.
That idea of having one pond flow into another one is very very difficult to do. I built ponds for 20 years and when doing that sort of thing, I made each pond a separate entity, each with its own pump/waterfall.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Oxygenating grasses

Can you plant just regular grass seed in a fish pond? Will it grow? Will it take oxygen from the fish?
I own some land in which I have started building a fish pond. If the grass doesn't grow, is there a special type of underwater grass to use?

Regular grass will not grow in water. Use anacharis, hornwort or cabomba and your fish will love you. All three give O2 to the fish and they, in turn, fertilize them.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Terra Cotta Fountain

What type of pump do you suggest for a terra cotta pot fountain?
It is going to be made of three pots staked on top of each other with a saucer on top.

You can buy a tiny one at some place like Hobby Lobby that costs less than $20.00. You will have to replace it often because those little ones don't have a long life. But anything bigger will send the water into your neighbor's yard. Have fun with your garden art.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Friday, March 05, 2010

Koi pond filter

I have read a lot about building a koi pond but i am unsure of where to put the skimmer, filter and pump?
Does anyone have a diagram of where to put all the stuff, preferrably the pond would be L shaped. or can you tell me please because videos on youtube dont really say where the filter, etc. goes.


You don't need a skimmer at all. You do need a filter tho, but it doesn't matter where you put it. Put it where it is easiest to hide and to clean.
• Here's an article that I wrote about how to build a koi pond.
• http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/koipond…

• Oh, and thoughts about skimmers:
• http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/filters…

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Thursday, March 04, 2010

How to build/buy a small raised pond?

Hi I bought my partner two goldfish and a fishtank for Christmas last year, one is your average goldfish (Betty) and the other a Sarsha comet (Bob) They have been living in a 10 gallon tank this whole time and as a random surprise I want to build a raised bond in our back garden. It has to be raised as we have nephews who visit and we own a lot of rabbits.

The garden has mostly been taken over by the bunnies but was planning on putting it near the patio part. Is there any like metal tub/plastic tub ponds that I can put there? And what sort of size should I be looking for and what sort of filter?

Thank you

You can build or buy most any size pond for the back yard. Here's one made of cinder blocks and fieldstone. Or you can use a circular horse trough, bury 24" of it and camouflage the rest.
Here's an article with photos for the cinder block pond.

And here are some smaller and cheaper ones:
http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/inexpeTo find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Koi question

I live in miami fl. im building a 175 gal waterfall pond but can go only 20 inches deep. I have morning shade?
Question: I am concerned about the temp for goldfish or koi in summer. I have a concrete pond I bought as a foundation. It's only 45 inches round and 8 in deep, so I plan on dropping it under ground 1 foot and adding 1 foot around the circumference. This should take its original size of 65 gallons and add about 100 gallons more making it about 165 total make any sense got any ideas?

Answer: Your fish will be fine at 20". I would stick to goldfish rather than koi, tho, because koi need at least 3' of water depth. Cover 60% of the top of the pond with floating vegetation and put in one bunch of submerged vegetation per square foot.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at Gardeners Gumbo

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Koi and pumps question

Can I turn off my pump in my koi pond in the winter?

I have a leak in my pond liner. I think it is at the bottom because a windstorm moved a large plant and my water level started to drop after that. The temperature where I live is from high 30's at night to 60's during day. Can I turn off my pump and let my water level drop without depriving koi of needed oxygen? Also, when I remove koi to completely drain pond, how long can they survive in small holding tank w/o pump

A Top Contributor is someone who is knowledgeable in a particular category.

If your temps stay under 55F, you might be safe turning off the pump, but I would probably throw an airstone in the water. Frankly, I suspect you will not find a leak at all. First turn off your pump and watch the pond overnight. I'll bet the water level will not drop and you will find that same wind moved hoses around and the water is dripping off the back or side of a waterfall.
With an airstone, the koi will survive in a kiddy pond for as long as you need, especially in cool weather.
See my article on leaking ponds: http://www.pondlady.com/Articles/pondlea…

Friday, February 12, 2010

Make your own pond vacuum cleaner

One of our readers made his own pond vacuum cleaner. He reports it works great and was cheap to make. He graciously shared how to make it with the readers of pondlady.com. I though it would be nice to post it here as well for readers who do not get to pondlady.com regularly.

Thanks for sharing, Darrel. We all appreciate it.

From Darrel:

Here's a list of the parts I used:
(1) Utilitech 0024840 Lawn Pump or Flint & Walling/Star Water
#HSPJ100(any 1hp utility pump with 1" intake/outlet)
(1) Culligan HD-950 Whole House Water Filter
(2) Union 1" slip X slip
(4) 1" male adapter, 1" slip socket by 1" NPT
(1) 1" 90º elbow slip
(1) 8 ft. of 1" spa flex hose
(1) 10 ft. of 1" PVC pipe
(1) 1" coupling
(1) Circular brush attachment from a vacuum cleaner to fit the PVC pipe.


The filter is attached to the inlet side of the pump.
(1) Screw a male adapter into the pump inlet.
(2) Cut about a 2-1/4" piece of PVC pipe.
(3) Glue this into the male adapter.
(4) Glue one side of one union to the pipe.
(5) Screw a male adapter into the filter outlet.
(6) Cut another 2-1/4" piece of PVC pipe.
(7) Glue the pipe into the adapter.
(8) Glue the other side of the union to the pipe.
(9) Screw another adapter into the filter inlet.
(10) Cut another 2-1/4" piece of PVC pipe.
(11) Glue the pipe into the adapter.
(12) Glue one side of the other union to the pipe.
(13) Glue the other side of the union to the spa flex hose.
(14) Glue the coupling to the hose.
(15) Cut a 6' length of PVC pipe.
(16) Glue the pipe into the other side of the coupling.
(17) Screw an adapter into the pump outlet.
(18) Cut a 2-1/4" piece of PVC pipe.
(19) Glue the pipe into the adapter.
(20) Glue the 90º elbow onto the other end of the pipe.
(21) Glue the remaining PVC pipe (approx. 2') to the elbow.

You want the filter on the intake side of the pump so you're not sending crud through the pump. There's also the possibility that if you suck up something living, you may be able to rescue it from the filter housing.

The pipe for the wand should not be more than about 6' or it bends too much and is difficult to control.

Lawn pumps need to be primed. They have a port for priming. You can also fill the pump/filter/pipe with water from a hose, or by scooping it from the pond. Just know that the pump, to begin with, will not suck the water up by itself.

You may notice that I used two additional male adapters, one on either side of the filter. This was only because the store had only one slip union. I had to buy one 1" slip union and one 1" NPT union. I then mixed the two halves of the unions so that each one became a 1" NPT X 1" slip union. The additional adapter then screwed into one side of each union.

When glueing the flex hose to the union hold it for a long time. The glue does not seem to set as fast as on the PVC pipe.

I've included a picture to help.


Monday, November 30, 2009

BIG fountains

I often get questions about huge fountains.  People try to put a fountain in a large pond, usually a natural bottom pond and find that the pump clogs up fast and the fountain stops working.

You will see fountains like the one in the photo at shopping centers and casinos.  This one is near a shopping mall near my house.  If you look closely, you can see that the fountain floats.  At no time can a huge fountain like this one be on the bottom of any pond or it will try to suck up debris and burn out quickly.

If you have a huge pond at home and want to use something like this, watch that the wind does not blow the water out and cause the level to drop to dangerous levels.  Sometimes you have to give in and install a float valve to keep the pond full of water.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Turtles in the pond

Nuf said? No?  OK, turtles eat everything in the pond. They start with your most expensive plants, like tropical water lilies and eat their way through every last plant.  And they do it fast.

You can have turtles in a pond if you have nothing else in the pond. You have to feed the turtles and make a little island and/or ramp so they can get in and out. Turtles do not live underwater.

In the winter, they burrow in the leaf mold and under the rocks and stay there undisturbed until spring when they wake up with a voracious appetite for more water lilies.

Turtle on a turtle?  Yup, it is.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another kind of pondless waterfall

Most pondless waterfalls are holes in the ground filled with rocks or a box that makes the sound echo.  All nice and all with their own problems.  Yesterday I decided to make my own pondless waterfall in the front yard.

It could be a pond with fish and plants, but it is really small, so I now have my own mini pondless waterfall.

Here's how I did it:  I bought a 3' in diameter x 2' deep Rubbermaid horse watering trough at a feed and seed store.   It cost about 40 bucks.  I had a pump lying around from my active pond building days. It's a 700 gph Little Giant submersible.  I also had rocks in the yard, saved from my pre Katrina pond and moved to this house from the one that we had to bulldoze.

First was a hole in the ground. I did not bury the horse trough all the way, but left about 6" above the ground. It's easier to deal with that way, easier to keep level and doing it like that avoids any run off.  Also with our water table so high, digging a 2' deep hole would find me in the water before I got all the way down.

After you dig the hole, put in the horse trough and fill it with water.  If you don't it will rise like the phoenix while you are leveling it.  Add kiddie play sand around the edges to give a solid surface to hold the trough.  Use water to pack down the sand. As you doing that, get the trough as level as you can.  You will cantilever rocks over the top later, so you don't have to be perfect here.

Start piling up flat rocks to hide the sides of the trough that is above ground. Doing this will make the pond look natural.  Save a spot for the waterfall.

Attach flexible tubing to the pump and then T off with a hard plastic T fitting  like plumbers use.

Put the pump in the water.

Now build your waterfall on one edge of the trough.  Use a large flat rock for the bottom, put a few thicker rocks on top and add another rock on top of those.  That's about as high as you can get because you don't want water splashing out.

Place the two hoses on the top of the waterfall.  Maybe one hose on each level.  Whatever pleases you.  Put rocks the same thickness as the hoses on either side and a rock on top to keep them where you put them.

Now arrange the hoses so no water slides off the back or over the sides and out of the trough.

Hide the hoses in the back of the falls with rocks or plant material.

Use swimming pool chlorine to keep the water clear.

There, you have it and it only took a few hours.  This one took me about 5 hours yesterday.  I am moving a bit slow this morning.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

Water Lilies in Winter

Hardy water lilies will survive the worst winter you can imagine.  I have seen hardy water lilies in Rocky Mountain National Park at about 11,000 feet.

 Remember water lilies are only pretty weeds, invasive and obnoxious if left to their own devices.  If you have planted them on the bottom in the bottom of a natural pond, you will regret doing that because they will cover your pond in short order. BUT they will survive. And survive. And survive.
You can tell the difference between hardy water lilies and tropical ones easily. The tropicals have stems that raise the flower far out of the water. The hardy lily flowers sit very close to the water, sometimes even touching it.

All water lily flowers live for about three days and then die. Another opens and so on, so you have flowers throughout the spring and summer.

If you have tropical water lilies, you must protect them in the winter.  If you have a deep pond, you can lower them to the bottom and keep your fingers crossed.  Here in South Louisiana, that's what I do.  Our freezes are relatively short and rare, so our lilies are safe.

If you live where your pond may freeze solid, you can remove your tropical from the pond, remove its leaves, rinse the corms off and pack it in damp sand.  Put it in the garage or somewhere that does freeze. You have about a 50/50 chance of saving your tropical. In the spring, simply pot them up again and place them in the pond.

 Of course, the ideal way is to have a green house and store the lily in it.  You can cobble together an 8' long box made of 1' x 12' lumber, line it with butyl rubber, fill it with dechlorinated water and your lilies will love you for it.  You will have blooms early in the spring.

No matter where you live in the US, your lilies are dormant by now. They react to the length of daylight and dark as well as temperature changes.  Don't worry, you will see them again in the spring.

To find more pond information, go to pondlady.com

And to meet a great community of gardeners, join us at  Gardeners  Gumbo

Monday, November 02, 2009

Ponds, men and women

Have you noticed? I know I have.

When men build ponds they want technical, complicated things like automatic water levelers. Women just use a garden hose to top off the pond every couple or months.

Men will run PVC pipes from the house hose bib and put a faucet near the pond. Women: See above.

Men plumb a waterfall with that same PVC pipe, so if it needs repair, you need a saw, sandpaper, more PVC pipe, fittings and that blue glue. Women use flexible tubing. If it breaks, they get a new piece for a couple of bucks.

Men hard wire a pump into an electrical box, so when the pump burns out, an electrician is needed to install a new one. Oh, and hard wiring the pump voids the warranty. Women just plug in the pump. When it burns out, they just plug in a new one.

Men love concrete. They use it to cement down rocks around the pond and try to glue waterfall rocks together. Women simply balance the rocks properly, so no concrete is necessary. That way, if rocks need to be moved, they can be picked up and  moved.

Anyone else find this strange?  Or is it just me?