The Q&A Archives: lanscaping and ponds

Question: what are a few quick, inexpensive remedies to give a home curb appeal by lanscaping?

what are some quick, and inexpensive processes to making a healthy living ponds?

Answer: Curb appeal can be enhanced by some simple steps: keeping the lawn neatly mowed and edged, by maintaining a layer of organic mulch two to three inches thick in the planting areas (fluff it with a rake to freshen it and add more as needed), keeping shrubbery trimmed, and by adding a colorful container of flowers by the front door.

Garden ponds can be complex depending on their size and the equipment involved. Understand that the water in a healthy pond is not crystal clear, it is actually hard to see your hand if hold it about a foot under the surface.

For best results, the pond must be "in balance" meaning there are enough plants growing in it to prevent algae growth. There should be surface growing plants such as water lilies to shade the water and prevent sun from encouraging algae. There must also be underwater plants to use up any excess nutrients in the water, again to prevent algae. These will also naturally oxygenate the water if you have goldfish. Limit the goldfish in number so as not to overstock the pond; fish waste encourages algae, as does excess fish feeding.

If you have koi, you will need to run a filtration system and some sort of fountain to oxygenate the water beyond what the plants can provide. Your pond supplier should have information on how to maintain the pumps and filters.

In either case, it takes regular maintenance to keep a pond looking tidy. Remove faded or discolored foliage regularly and skim off any debris that falls in or blows in. If you have a severe algae problem, draining the pond will not solve it. You might try adding barley straw in a mesh bag or adding a few nutrient-hungry water hyacinth plants to combat the algae by using up nutrients.

I hope this helps.

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