Continue with stage 1 pond maintenance – you should remove rotting brown waterlily leaves and dead flowers. Also any upright foliage falling over and droping into the water as well as tree leaves blowing in.
Stage 2: Thin out rafting plant growth that has covered the pond surface and reduce to a coverage of less than 50% of the surface area. This allows more light into the depths of the water in the days of less sunlight in Autumn and Winter.
When any horizontally growing and surface cover plants are removed from the pond check that you have not also removed wildlife creatures. Dragonfly larvae spend several years under the water before emerging as adults and these larvae easily become removed from the water when you are removing plant growth. Late hatchings of newts can also still be in the pond and being only 1/2″ long can be difficult to spot. Backswimmers or Greater Water Boatmen will also become trapped if you collect armfuls or netfuls of plants in a mass.
Make sure you shake the plants you are removing over the pond to free the creatures – even leaving the plants on the side of the pond is not always sufficient – especially if you have twisted the plants or the blanketweed into a ball or tight clump – they need to be unravelled, opened out and shaken.
Continue to remove any duckweed you can see so that it does not seed down onto the bottom of the pond only to reappear next Spring.
Leave oxygenating plants in the pond – do not thin out before Winter as the better oxygenated the pond in Winter the better it is for any wildlife that stays in the water. You can thin out in Spring.
See stage 3 in our next post