By Eric Triplett
On an emotional level, one of the toughest things to do in giving an ecosystem pond a good spring cleaning is thinning out the plants.
After all, these plants are a big part of the pond’s aesthetic appeal, and reducing them as dramatically as we usually do tends to set the watershape’s good looks back a notch or two. But we do so knowing it’s a short-term issue and an important annual activity, so my preference, as with so many things we do, is to look at this as an opportunity to keep things fresh and maybe even try some new looks.
As we get into it, I look at what’s thrived and at what hasn’t done so well; consider adding familiar specimens that haven’t been included before; and think about trying some of the new things that seem to pop up on the nursery tables every time I turn around. I’ll seriously thin the aggressive growers, do what I can to give plants that should be doing better an enhanced shot at success and, in general terms, look at the pond and its plants with fresh eyes and an open mind.
One of the things that occurs to me in reviewing the video linked below is the degree to which spring cleaning is an exercise in punishing your hands. I suppose I could wear gloves, but through years of practice I’ve grown accustomed to digging in without hesitation. One piece of advice: If you don’t want to wear gloves, do keep your fingernails closely trimmed!
Click here to see us get down to the dirty work of spring cleaning a pond.