Zone 8b floating plants for cover


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Hi everyone,

I have a ~4000 gallon pond in the Seattle area which is getting frequent visits from a blue herron. It's protected by a motion-activated sprinkler, a rubber snake, and an LED/ultra-sonic deterrent, but I'd like to get some plant cover going on the surface.

I've used water lettuce in the past but everything I'm reading says it's too early in the season for it.

Have you northwest folks found anything that will grow on the surface this time of year?

Thanks for your help!
 
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JBtheExplorer

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a rubber snake,

Sounds like a Heron lure rather than a deterrent.


I'm not sure what would work in your zone, maybe other members will be able to help, but I know around here there really aren't any plants that would cover the surface this time of year.
 
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The only measure I'm confident of is the sprinkler, but I've read that herons don't like snakes. it does a good job keeping my wife away from the pond, though. :)
 

Jhn

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Water hawthorn grows while the water is cool. Not as much coverage as a lily, but is something until the other plants get going.
 
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Mmathis

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I think that @j.w lives in your neck of the woods. But from what I’ve heard from others, netting is about the most effective way to reduce the chances of a GBH attack — if that’s your main concern. Is there some reason that you aren’t using water lilies? They can give very nice surface cover.
 

j.w

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@island_pondscum not much for this time of the year will grow on the surface.

Water Hawthorne grows this time of year in cooler weather. Will take it awhile to get going tho so wouldn't work for this year.
IMG_6027.JPG

I can't really think of anything that will grow now and cover the surface other than Duckweed and Azolla and the fish will eat those up. I had to use a net to cover mine to keep out the Heron or he would have devoured every fish in the pond. My net is raised up on poles and goes all the way to the ground on the sides as those birds will try to sneak in any hole left open. Once they find your pond they will be back every day till every fish is gone or stabbed and injured so it dies.
Here is what I had to do. Hated to have to cover it but if not no more fish! It's a wide weave fishing net I ordered online thanks to @addy1 who has one also.

IMG_7422.JPG




Otherwise see him below before the net. All I had was fishing line around the pond and he just laughed at that!

IMG_1267.JPG
 
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@island_pondscum - I feel like this has been an issue for you for a while... am I remembering you correctly? They are persistent predators for sure! I've read they have a built in GPS and once they "drop a pin" on a location they will continue to come back to check it out.
 
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Thanks everyone! I also googled "heron eat snakes" and apparently, I've put out a big neon Diner sign next to my pond. Looks like the best use for that snake is beating myself over the head with it.

The pond is about 10 feet from my back deck so the idea of putting a net up... it would really detract from the chi of the pond and I'm not ready to give up yet.

I'll check out the Hawthorne, Duckweed, and Azolla. The water lettuce works great (I have to scoop it out by late summer) but it fades quickly when fall comes. I do use water lilies but they lose all their foliage here in the winter, although they do come back when it warms up. Maybe I'll just have to keep it netted until summer. That fisherman's net isn't bad.

I _really_ appreciate the help, thanks!
 
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