Time to spring forward, or at least turn the clocks forward! Things are beginning to warm up a bit here in the north and we are anxiously waiting for Spring to arrive so we can begin to add new plants to our ponds. Another couple of months and we will be sitting back enjoying our ponds once again. It won't be long now. For those in the warmer regions, zones 8 and above, you are putting pond plants in your ponds and starting to enjoy them, while those of us in the lower zones are still waiting. At least most of the ice has melted and we can begin thinking about our ponds once again.
Don't be fooled by Mother Nature. We need to make sure it is warm enough outside, and make sure our pond water is warm enough for the plants to survive. Knowing your pond temperature is crucial, so begin by checking your pond water temperature at different times of the day. The pond water is cooler in the morning and warmer in the afternoon but will cool down again in the evening. Knowing what the consistant temperature of your pond water is important before adding the pond plants.
The first plants most of us want to put in are those that will help us keep the pond clear, such as floating plants like water hyacinths and water lettuce. Cold water will kill both of these in a matter of days if the water temperature is still too cold. We need to make sure the water temperature is consistent and reaches 65 degrees and stays there morning, afternoon and evening before we add floating plants.
There are other things we must do first that will keep us busy, such as adding beneficial bacteria to help keep our pond clear. The good bacteria, such as MicrobeLift PL neutralizes ammonia and nitrites, and will start to work when the water temperature are 50-55 degrees. If you add bacteria, it will stay in the pond and start working when the pond water is warm enough. It acts on its own and will stay un-activated until it knows to start working. For those of us who use barley, now is the right time to start adding it. This will also help retard the growth of string algae in the Spring months.
The list goes on and on. While all of us are anxious to add the pond plants there are still several things to do prior to this. I will be posting articles in the next few days with spring tips for our ponds.