refurbishment of neglected pond - where and when to start, please?


Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Country
United Kingdom
Hello, everyone.

I've just joined the forum and would welcome any advice with my pond project, please. The pond was in place when we moved into our house about 15 years ago and - I'm ashamed to admit - it's been pretty much neglected ever since. But, this is it's year and I'm very excited about having the time to tackle it at last. I just don't know where to start!

I have some ideas about how I would like it to finish up in an ideal world but I think maybe I just need to see what I've got first, especially the state of the current liner. As you can see from the pictures, the pond is currently choked with what I think are yellow flags - I'm guessing that removing them would be my first job (?)

My worry has always been disturbing the wildlife - what water still is in there is clear, with lots of things swimming around in it. Do I just have to bite the bullet and get everything out in order to look longer term? If so, is it best to get going sooner rather than later in the year? I have just picked up an old bath that I could use to transfer some of the plants and water to as a temporary measure if you think that's a good idea.

I would be very grateful for any thoughts, please. This is all new to me! Thank you.
 

Attachments

Ad

Advertisements

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
11,683
Reaction score
6,481
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Hello and welcome.

Which part is the actual pond? Is there a liner or does it have a natural bottom? Is there a pump or a filter?

Most critters that will be disturbed initially, will very likely return.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
5,264
Reaction score
4,064
Location
Ct
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
More then likely you are in for a battle. Those roots are going to be wrapped around each other and pulling it apart is going to be a lot of work. I may be wrong but i doubt it. What i would try to do is take the tractor or even a car. tie a heavy duty rope to it and take the rope and wrap it in out around and through the plants. use the car to help pull out the mass . or at least weaken there grip within the pond . BUt beware the rope can spring at you like and elastic band when you start pulling on it so keep clear as it can also travel a long way. placing a jacket or a blanket over the middle of the rope half way between the plants and the car can help take the pressure off if the rope does slip. a definite trick of the trade.

Pull it all out and start over . keeping a lot of the shimming creatures is a huge plus
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
2,679
Reaction score
1,841
Location
North Oklahoma
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
United States
Start by at least thinning out the yellow flag. If the pond isn’t leaking, loosing water, your liner is still intact. So unless you want to change how the pond is built/ make it bigger/ deeper/ or such changes, you’ve got a huge head start. Next, sort out the plants, thin them out as needed, ( I’d offer the excess either here in our classified section, or other local site such as Craigslist or Facebook marketplace), along with any you don’t want to keep. Then measure your pond and get a rough idea of the volume. That water is “mature” in that it’s well established with the bacteria to make the pond healthy. Keep as much of it as you can! Don’t drain the pond unless you have no other choice. If you do, you’ll end up having to start like it’s a new pond. Net out any solids, I’d suggest you pick a time when conditions are nice out, and set the solids you net in a safe place near the pond so any creatures hiding in there have a chance to get back into the pond. Now, take the volume of your pond, and use that number to find a suitable pump and filter. If you’re using a typical store bought filter, you’ll want to move the water volume 1 1/2 times per hour if you plan on having fish. So say it’s 1000 gallons, that would be a 1500gph- 2000gph pump and filter. Or build a bog, put many of the plants in that, and tweak the flow as needed till you’ve got steady clear water.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Country
United Kingdom
Wow - thank you for such detailed help and so quickly. I knew I'd come to the right place! Mmathis, you asked about which bit is the actual pond so I've circled it in the picture. It's basically under that big clump of yellow flag! There is a liner and it is holding water at the moment - though I don't know what state it'll be in once I've got the plants out. There's an edge of rocks to the pond which you can just see in the photo. There's no pump or filter. I do appreciate your advice and will set to work taking out the plants. I hadn't anticipated it would be such a huge job, GBBUDD, so thanks for your warning. And, yes, JamieB, I will keep as much of the water as possible - I was really pleased to see it looking so clear and full of life. Perhaps I could be back in touch once I've made progress with the plant thinning!
 

Attachments

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
40,028
Reaction score
24,105
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Welcome to our forum!

I would get a big tub, plastic swim pool and something that will hold some water. Get into the pond with waders on, with a sharp serrated knife, start at the edge, pull up what you can of the mass and trim off xx roots. Always trim up so you don't slip and slice the liner. As you cut off xx pieces put them in the tub with water to rinse off the small critters. You can then put them back into the pond. Then toss the plants into a pile. Or plant in the yard if you have a moist place. It will take time but it will be the gentlest on the critters.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Country
United Kingdom
That's great advice, addy1- thank you. The pond is round the back of the house so I couldn't do the big pull-out with the help of a car/tractor that GBBUDD suggested above - it will have to be a more piecemeal, time-heavy approach. But that's okay and I'll be happy if I can be more gentle on the critters that way too. Now to source some waders and buckets and get going!
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
40,028
Reaction score
24,105
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
You could bare foot it, not that I ever would, it is mucky gross. Or wear water shoes, but they will fill muck. waders are the best. And get some gloves you don't care about, or cleaning gloves keep you hands dry.

Go around the pond, pull on the iris, find a spot you can actually pull up and start cutting. At first you will be on dry land, the main thing is keep the blade pointed up, pull the iris up off the liner. Don't get impatient and stab down, that will be new liner time! They have lots of roots, tubers etc.

The small ones usually on the edge is the best place to start. I have some yellow flag in my bog. Every year I do a bit of pruning back, working the edges.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2017
Messages
2,679
Reaction score
1,841
Location
North Oklahoma
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
United States
I’m of the mind that as long as I know it’s safe ( no water moccasins), I get in with flip flops, or wading shoes, or even barefoot, and just rinse the muck off later. This requires water temps that won’t freeze my toes off though.
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
40,028
Reaction score
24,105
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
I go into our pond bare foot, or my water shoes on. That way I don't squish the trap door snails, I can push them out of the way. But my pond does not have that black mucky been there forever muck.
I did remove a snapping turtle that tried to move into the pond, trapped , relocated to a big farm pond. Want to keep my toes.
 

j.w

I Love my Goldies
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
28,864
Reaction score
17,314
Location
Arlington, Washington
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
USDA 8a
Country
United States
1614962944450.gif
@Looby Lou
After you remove all the Iris, I would save some to put back as that stuff makes a great filter in sucking up excess nutrients from the pond water. Just ask @callingcolleen1
You can then keep it under control by taking out excess when needed. The plants are prolly why your water is so clear!
 
Ad

Advertisements

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
40,028
Reaction score
24,105
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
After you remove all the Iris, I would save some to put back as that stuff makes a great filter in sucking up excess nutrients from the pond water
Put it in a container to control. I have other iris in my ponds in pots for control.
 
  • Like
Reactions: j.w
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
2,704
Reaction score
1,643
Location
Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania
Hardiness Zone
6a
I suggest you take your time and pull out as much as possible. A little bit per day. It may take a while, but in the end it will pay off.

Your water is nice and clear, so that's a plus. Pulling out dead vegetation will probably stir things up and cloud the water, but it should clear back up in a few days.

Once you are satisfied that you pulled enough out, use a bag type pool net to slowly scoop the buildup off the bottom. As you net that stuff, dump it somewhere and sift through it in search of snails, fish fry or other critters you'll want to return to the pond.

Be careful what tools you use in your pond, you don't want to damage your liner.
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
40,028
Reaction score
24,105
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Country
United Kingdom
You've all been so helpful - thank you. I can't wait to get going tomorrow!
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
5,264
Reaction score
4,064
Location
Ct
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
One other suggestion would be to leave or just pull out all the dead stems and then build a equal sized pond in the same shape but reversed from your existing. might sound like a lot of work but it might actually be less work then it is pulling apart the flag iris. and i would venture to guess that's beautiful when in bloom
 

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
40,028
Reaction score
24,105
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Take pictures as you go! We will virtually cheer you on!
 

brokensword

Not all those who wander are lost
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
1,773
Reaction score
1,381
Location
Michigan
Hardiness Zone
5b
Country
United States
there you go; our resident heavy-weights are already deciding you have LPS (larger pond syndrome). ;)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
5
Country
United Kingdom
LPS - I didn't know that was a thing! I would love a bigger pond and maybe I'll get there. One day! In the meantime, I've started to take out some dead stems. Cold work today but very satisfying to have made a start. I'll post some pictures when you can see a difference (it might be a while!) Thank you all for your encouragement and advice - it's really appreciated.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top