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Pottering around in the Garden - Pond Scum


After the successful control of the fishbone fern and the unsuccessful attempt at growing anything in the newly discovered garden beds the next priority was the pond.
The pond was found to be well constructed with no leaks in the rock walls. However the neglect was apparent. The bottom half of the knee deep pond was made up of a thick layer of black sludge from decayed plant matter and the top of stagnant brown water teeming with mosquito larvae.
I spent weeks scooping out as much of the sludge as I could using a butterfly net purchased cheaply from k-mart. Pulling the protective wire cover for the pond from amongst the weeds I reinstalled it over the pond. Next came the challenge of restoring and ensuring the continued health of the pond as well as controlling the mosquito problem.
I obtained a water chestnut plant and some other unidentified aquatic semi-aquatic plants I also bought a solar powered water feature from ebay all of which have been very successful.
Next the mosquito problem! I tried a growing a couple of insect repellent plants. The pennyroyal seeds I planted under the balcony never germinated but I managed to grow some fleabane in one corner of the pond. Unfortunately this did not deter the mosquitoes who obviously decided that a bad smell was not a good enough reason to give up a perfectly good breeding ground.
I hired six small mosquito larvae eating fish for the job and hoped the water feature and plants would oxygenate the pond enough for the fish to survive. I am unsure if this worked as I haven't spotted any fish for a few months but the mosquito larvae population has seemed to have diminished. I may however have to wait until summer to see if this is really the case.
To ensure a self sustainable, healthy pond (and abolish the necessity of ever again needing to scoop sludge) I needed to find a way of disposing much plant material would inevitably fall into the pond. After much research of various waterbugs and aquatic life I finally decided to buy three over priced water snails from a local pet shop. Just after buying and installing the large orange snails in their new home I noticed some small brown dark grey snails in the pond. Oh the irony of life...

...to be continued

Pottering around in the Garden - Pond Scum

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