The KPRC Radio Gardenline Tip By Randy Lemmon For 07-07-05 Printer-Friendly Version
Summertime Concerns for the Water Gardener...
Since I’m on vacation this week, I asked Anita Nelson of Nelson Water Gardens and Nursery to fill in for this week’s email tip. I had a couple of emails from GardenLine listeners regarding their ponds this past week, and I asked Anita for advice on one of them, and she volunteered to advise everyone with water gardens about summer concerns via this weekly tip service.
Summertime Concerns for the Water Gardener
by Anita Nelson, Nelson Water Gardens & Nursery
During the hot summer months the average temperature a water garden will be in the range of 85-90 degrees. Water is slow to heat up and slow to cool down. Ambient air temperatures drop during the night, allowing the pond to cool down and preventing the pond from over heating during the heat of the day. Most ponds (unless very, very shallow) will not heat up over 90 degrees in the Houston Area.
Water evaporation accelerates in the summer, expect the average water loss to be 1-2 inches a week. It varies depending on the pond. Water Gardens with Fountain Sprays and Waterfalls will lose water more rapidly than a still pond covered with waterlilies. Waterlilies; by covering the pond surface with their lily pads slow evapaoration from the water garden.
Use a dechlorinating agent when topping off your pond during the summer to neutralize the chlorine in your tap water. Note: most chlorines used today WILL NOT evaporate out.
When the pond evaporates minerals and salts accumulate in the water. Each time you top off your pond you are adding more minerals and salts (from the tap water) to your pond. Plan on performing partial water change of 25% at least once during the summer to dilute the mineral and salt content of the pond water.
In the summer there is less dissolved oxygen in the pond because warm water does not “hold” as much dissolved oxygen as cool water. In addition every biological process consumes more oxygen as the temperature rises. Therefore oxygen levels are critical in the summertime. Everything may seem OK for awhile and then the pond temperatures begin to rise (caused by hot summer temperatures). At that point, if the pond has too large a fish population, fish may begin to suffocate and die. The volume of water is not sufficient to hold enough oxygen for the number of fish and they begin to suffocate usually with the larger fish (with their greater need for oxygen) succumbing first.
To avoid this scenario; observe your fish in the morning. If your fish are at the surface gasping for air you need to do one of four suggestions below:.
1. Thin your fish population
2. Increase the oxygen levels by adding splash in the form of a fountain or waterfall.
3. Add a Aerator to your pond with a diffuser
4. If we have a power outage you can use Green Clean or D-solve. Both of these release oxygen when added to the water.
Water Lilies and Aquatic Plants love the heat—keep them well fertilized;(one fertilizer tablet per 5 quarts of soil) and your lily will reward you with blossoms all summer long!
If you have any other questions about any questions related to water gardens, please don't hesitate to visit our friends at Nelson Water Gardens & Nursery in Katy. Here's is all the pertinent contact information.
Nelson Water Gardens & Nursery
1502 Katy Fort Bend Rd.
Katy, Texas 77493
(one mile North of Interstate 10)
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.