Ponds – The essential ingredient for wildlife in the garden
Most gardeners want to encourage wildlife into the garden. Not only is it good for the environment but also it’s a fabulous method for organic pest control. Many of the birds and animals that will come to your pond are also attracted to garden pests such as those slugs on your Hostas. Ponds are perfect for frogs, toads and especially newts. You could say that wildlife gardening without a pond is like playing football without a goal.
Ponds can vary in size from a little pool of water to a small lake but any water in the garden is a boon to wildlife as well as a haven for you with the sights and sounds of reflections, water and birdsong.
A few things to bear in mind when planning your pond:
Location: Avoid constructing your pond beneath trees if possible to avoid leaf fall. Ideally you should choose a Southwest facing aspect near to tall plant growth. You can mark out the position of your pond using string, a hosepipe or linemarker spray
Digging Unfortunately digging is unavoidable but make sure you are happy with the position of your pond beforehand. You don’t want to be filling the hole in and starting again. A wildlife pond should be shallow at the edges dropping down to at least 60cm in depth.
Pond Liner Make sure you purchase a quality pond liner. This will make your life easier when laying and give a good lifespan and they often have guarantees. Speak to an expert first before buying your liner to choose the best liner for your needs.
No Fish Don’t put fish in your pond if you want to attract wildlife, they will eat all the insects before you can even get started attracting other species and their waste can cause water quality problems.
Water quality Use rainwater whenever possible. Collect water in a butt to avoid having to top up with tap water. If you have algae problems add oxygenating plants, you could also consider using a filter or a pump to help oxygenate the water.
Safety Always supervise young children near a pond. If you are concerned, put firmly secured wire netting over the surface
These are just a few tips to start you off in creating your wildlife pond. There’s a lot more good advice available on creating the perfect pond. Please ask us for more advice or contact a pond expert such as Bradshaws Direct