Summer pond care

• Water evaporates during windy or hot weather, leading to the water level dropping. The reduced surface area can be damaging for fish as there’s less oxygen available, so top up the pond if necessary. Ideally use rainwater from a butt as tap water is rich in nutrients that causes algae to prosper. 

• If you do have to use tap water and you keep fish, add the tap water gradually in small amounts to prevent the cold liquid shocking the fish in the pond.

• On hot, humid nights, spray water over the surface of the pool from a hose to break the surface and improve oxygen levels in the water. Alternatively, install or turn on a water feature to keep the surface bubbling gently.

• Floating weeds can quickly cover the surface of a pond if left unchecked, so twirl these out with a stick or use a net to scoop them out. Leave weeds and algae on the side of the pond overnight, so that larger creatures can return to the water. Rinsing the material in a bucket of pond water can help release smaller creatures which can then be returned to the pond.

Pond plant care through the seasons

• Mid-spring through to early summer is the best time to buy pond plants as the water is warming up and plants will respond by growing away rapidly.

• Aim to keep around 50 percent of the surface free of vegetation by thinning out plants occasionally during the summer.

• Deep water aquatics with floating leaves, such as water lilies, benefit from regular dividing and re-potting, carried out in spring. Place containers on raised bricks lowered in stages as the plants grow, so the leaves can always reach the surface until the final depth is reached when the plant is mature. 

• If not being potted on, water lilies benefit from a supplementary feed in the spring with a specialist aquatic plant food to encourage better flowering.

• Snip off any tatty leaves, along with any fading flowers in summer. Remove dead leaves and debris from plants early in the autumn to avoid decomposing vegetation building up in the pond. 

• Thin out excessive growth of underwater oxygenating plants. Four to five bunches (each containing three to four stems) should be sufficient for each square metre or yard of pond surface area.