Managing your pond plants

Once established, most water plants grow extraordinarily fast unless they are heavily shaded. This means they compete for space in a small pond and need management. Some plants like bogbean send out long runners and can spread two or three metres in a season, but are easily reduced because the brittle stems can be snapped. Others, like the common reed - only suitable for the very largest ponds - form dense, tough, root masses that need a saw to cut them back.

Don't over-manage your pond plants. Remember, they are home for the animals in the pond, so leave them alone during the summer, especially the grasses growing out from the lawn with leaves spreading into the pond margins. It's best to remove

Great pond snail. Garth Coupland

Water scorpion

Great pond snail. Garth Coupland

Water scorpion

Snail Water Plants
Migrant hawker. Paul Keene

excess vegetation in the autumn, when most amphibians have left the pond. The submerged plants in particular may have grown very strongly. Pile the material by the pond for 24 hours, so that the tougher trapped animals have some chance to escape, but don't let it begin to rot there, or nutrients will leach back in to the pond to cause algal problems. Pond plants compost quickly and well. NEVER put any material from your garden into a wild pond. You could unknowingly be releasing a problem species or disease into the wild.

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