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Advice needed on pond maintenance


 
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robineire
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Posts: 65
Location: Oughterard CO GALWAY

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:18 am    Post subject: Advice needed on pond maintenance Reply with quote

G,day,

I spent yesterday clearing mud and leaves from the system of open drains that lead water into my pond and have a few questions that I hope you may be able to help with.

I am thinking of making French drains of some of the existing open ones using using pebbles drainage pipe more pebbles and soil on top so they dont require constant clearing. Could it be a problem if some of the drains are covered and some not. In parts of the garden the streams look nice but in other parts they are under heavy tree cover and fill up with leaves / pine needles really quickly.

I have almost 6 acres here with one large ornamental lilly pond that the streams drain into, from there the overflow runs into another large man made water feature which covers >half an acre (this is starting to be overgrown with reeds at one end) What maintenance does the lilly pond require?, it is surrounded by trees and bushes.




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kindredspirit
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 2028
Location: Mid-west.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Water lilies only need dividing once the leaves start to clump up into a bundle.
If they're not clumped up, then they're OK.

Reeds can be pulled up by hand (or if there is a JCB around, get him to scoop them out. If you're doing it by hand you'll need to buy some full length waders.

It might be an idea with your drains to put a sediment trap just before the bits you're going to cover, otherwise they might have a tendency to block up.
Is there anything wrong with leaving the drains the way they are and ignoring the mud and leaves? Whoever designed your "Lost Gardens" seems to have been extraordinarily good and they would possibly have taken water flow into consideration.

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A little garden in Co. Limerick.Some non-gardening photographs.
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Sunny
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
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Location: Co. Cork, Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your garden looks lovely. Sounds like sound advice from kindredspirit.
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robineire
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
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Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Posts: 65
Location: Oughterard CO GALWAY

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Thanks for the prompt reply Reply with quote

The last owners left a boat so I shall paddle out and check the lillies Ill take a landing net and scoop out fallen leaves too, as for a JCB there is no route through my ground that he could get through, its heavilly treed so I would have to get him to come across a bog that is next to my land but that is a plan for the future, I'm not as concerned with those big ponds really as they are out of sight of the main garden.

Some of the drains are working ok but I have two lawns that are soggy almost all of the time and they will turn into a mud bath if the dogs or any traffic gets on them and there doesnt seem to be enough fall for the drains to work properly in those spots. We have had loads of rain since moving in right enough.

Lots of the nice bushes have gone very woody especially some white Fuschia that covers about 300 square meters and is over 6 ft tall, I'm in the process of deviding it into three destinct bushes about 3 ft in diameter and cutting out the rest. I'm recruiting people to come help lol so if anyone fancies bed and board in a top spot in Connemara with some good healthy manual graft thrown in just call.

This is a pic of the reeds that are taking over in the bottom ponds
And this is the sort of scene I have yet to attack at the bottom half of the grounds

The trees at the top part of the garden I have removed some of the lower branches so at least I can walk through and a bit more light will get in. I'll go back when I have done the major work and remove any other branches that look bad. My next purchase will be a log splitter as a lot of the wood is really knotty.
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ponddigger
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Joined: 31 Jan 2010
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Location: co tipp

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:53 pm    Post subject: garden Reply with quote

hi robineire, lovely garden. a mini digger driven on sheets of old plywood ,might be the machine for you on this project,best of luck with all the work Smile ponddigger Smile
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kindredspirit
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 10 Nov 2008
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Location: Mid-west.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh! my goodness! You've a MASSIVE amount of work ahead of you. Crying or Very sad

I'd personally leave the reeds, as, you'd either need a Hymac (a JCB would drown in that pond. Very Happy ) or, a chain of people with waders if you're doing it manually.



And you should have enough firewood from the thinnings of those trees to supply you for 10 years! Laughing

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Anonany
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Joined: 09 May 2011
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Location: Bray, Co Wicklow

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is there anything wrong with leaving the drains the way they are and ignoring the mud and leaves? Whoever designed your "Lost Gardens" seems to have been extraordinarily good and they would possibly have taken water flow into consideration.


Kindredspirit makes a very valid point ... as we found out the hard way !

There are a lot of underground springs beneath our garden (one of which refills a pond every 24 hours) and when we moved in some 20+ year's ago there were several open drains around the place. They were all in straight lines -- thus, not very appealing -- and we converted one of them to a french drain.

The french drain was comprised of rock and gravel and was fully enclosed within a porous membrane to keep out the earth. In theory, it should have worked ... in practice it failed within about 8 years.

We had failed to take into account both the nature of the ground -- 10-24" of wonderful topsoil on top of really heavy clay -- or the nature of the water. Mineral deposits gradually built up and turned the drain into a solid mass which, in turn, resulted in the water saturating the topsoil. Altogether a very bad move !

We were forced to re-instate the open ditch (but, with a curve or two to make it into a "stream" !) and yes, the leaves are a nuisance. We did consider covering it with mesh but it's such a large garden that it's not really that practical.

By the way, I'm not suggesting that french drains don't work -- I know they do -- but you might want to "learn from our mistakes" and check both the ground conditions and water composition before taking the plunge !

You have a truly lovely landscape; it must be a joy just to wander round and enjoy the tranquility.
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