Guest Post – 6 Steps To Removing Invasive Plants From Your Garden Pond

I’ve been talking a lot lately about ponds and the possibility of extending mine. Like garden weeds, there are species that will invade a pond and quickly overtake the plants you’ve carefully selected. This week I have Ricky from Swallow Aquatics on hand to help. Ricky is a nature lover who loves to spend time in his garden or outdoors. Click here to find out more about ponds and Swallow Aquatics.

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If you love nature and wild life then having a garden pond is a great way to make your garden even more beautiful. But owning a garden pond also requires a little bit of work, you need to maintain it and look after it in order to keep it healthy.

800px-Frog_by_a_pondImage Credit: Frog in a pond

One particular threat to any pond is invasive plant life. If given the opportunity, invasive species can literally take over your pond and kill off all of the other life within it. If you want to prevent this from happening to your pond, here are a few simple steps to follow:

Be Quick & Decisive

Invasive species of plant tend to be very fast to spread, that’s part of the danger; which means that if you spot any invasive plants in your pond you need to act quickly to remove them. Leaving it until the weekend is ok, but don’t let days become weeks.

The longer you leave the problem the more damage will be done and the more work it will take to bring your pond back to health.

No Prisoners

It’s simple really, when removing a dangerous plant you have to make double-sure that you get every last bit. Think of invasive plants like a cancer for your pond – if you miss a bit, it will spread again and you will end up in an endless cycle.

Also remember that left over spores can remain dormant until the following season, so be vigilant in case it springs back up in a month or even a year’s time.

Don’t Drop Bombs

For a small problem you can go straight in and pull it all out, but if you have a more severe problem you need to be aware that removing too much life from the pond can do more harm than good. Be careful not to take out beneficial plants as part of the battle.

If a more intensive clear out is in order, take your time and try to do as little damage as possible. Also, have the clear-out in autumn when your plants will be more mature and more likely to survive the ordeal.

Wildlife Matters Too

Removing too much plant life is risky, but there is another hidden risk. Every plant that you remove (even the ones you intend to remove) will be full of insect life and possibly amphibians. Some casualties are unavoidable, but do your best to be vigilant.

Once you have removed all of the unwanted plants, lay them out on a plastic sheet a couple of feet away from the pond, this should be far enough that the plants can’t fall back in, but close enough that any animals can find their way home.

Destroying The Evidence

This is really important; be careful when disposing of those plants, remember that they are invasive and could cause damage to other parts of your local ecology. Dumping the waste in local scenic areas is a definite no-no (and may be illegal).

Also be aware that pond water can contain spores and must not be poured into any local water supplies. Pouring it on your garden should usually be safe though.

Other Precautions

Ok, you may think this is over the top, but there is nothing more annoying than spending an entire weekend clearing out your pond only to have to do it again 3 months later. So here are a few last tips to prevent a re-surgence:

  • Install a pond pump, this will keep the pond full of air and prevent algae growth, promoting bio-diversity and reducing stagnation.
  • Skim your pond regularly too. Keep fish if you can and introduce plants which occur naturally in your locality. A well balanced eco-system will be much more resilient to invasive plants.
  • After removing pest plants, wash your equipment and your clothes just in case any spores or debris are left on them. Don’t inadvertently re-introduce those plants!

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Hi,

I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.