Do you send a planting leaflet guide out with the plants and are all the plants labelled so we know what they all are?
A link to planting instructions is sent with the email sent confirming the initial order and also with the email sent on day of dispatch confirming orders are on their way. They are also available on our web site here
. They used to be included in the documents enclosed wallet attached to the parcel but we found many customers were missing them. If you would like a hard copy sent with your order please add a note in the customer comments box on check-out. We include plant labels for each type plant in the order.
The planting advice leaflet says that deep water plants such as water hawthorn and lilies, should be planted in baskets first in shallow water then dropped lower as the leaves reach the surface. Is this necessary at this time of the year when the plants are dormant and (mostly) leafless? Can they go straight to their proper depth? My pond is only 80cm at the deepest point anyway.
This really depends on how well established the plant is. If it is sold as a well established 2 litre or larger then it should be ok to go straight to its final depth. Please be aware however that the maximum depth is not a target, so the plant does not have to be at this depth to thrive -pretty much all deep water plants will be happy if at a depth of 30cm (above the crown), though this will be a little deep for the dwarf lilies.
1 litre plants by definition are younger and less well established, so even though they are dormant they still need to go down in stages. Once they start to grow in the spring if they start too deep then they will struggle to reach the surface of the water, and as a result may not flower and their growth will be very weak as they have used up all their energy! Start them off between 20-30cm (8-12") and once the leaves reach the surface drop down them down in stages to their ultimate depth.
Depending on the age of your pond they may also benefit from feeding early in the spring as they are heavy feeders and this will benefit growth and flowering. We feed all deep water plants with slow release fertiliser on dispatch, so they should be fine for the coming growing season. In subsequent seasons potting up if necessary should be considered and slow release fertiliser, such as Osmocote Exact 5-6 tablets
or Osmocote Exact 8-9 tablets
should be added.
I have just received my order thanks, can I use soil from the garden or do I need pond soil?
It would depend on your particular garden soil if it would be appropriate. It must be free of pesticides or fertiliser and ideally you should use subsoil not topsoil (the top 5 -20cm or so) as topsoil is very nutrient rich and will exacerbate any algae problems in the pond. A good alternative is aquatic soil
which is especially designed for planting in ponds as it is lower nutrient. This can be supplemented with slow release fertiliser for heavy feeders such as irises, water lilies and other deep water plants.
What is planting depth?
Planting depth is measured from the point where the plant emerges from the soil to the surface of the water. For a plant in a basket or planting bag this will be the top of the basket or bag to the surface of the water. There are planting depth guides on each product page on the website and individual plant labels. Note max planting depth is not a target and most marginals will be happy as long as their feet are wet.
I planted up a new pond with plants from you in October. I have a lot of what I think is blanket weed growing. What can I do to restrict its spread?
It is quite common this early in the season until the plants begin to grow. The only thing you can do if to keep removing it. You can also try adding Barley straw which is an organic treatment but takes around 4 weeks to start working so needs adding to the pond as soon as possible. Alternatively we sell Ecopond Extract of Barley Straw -this is a natural product derived from organic barley straw and is safe for wildlife, pets and humans. This is easier to use than barley straw and will work more quickly.
Dear Sonia, I got a Lifepond last September and your plant collection (first flowers in bloom!). I have newts, frogs and toads in it and unfortunately also blanketweed. I've been pulling it out but I can see this isn't very effective and I keep disturbing the other plants and the pond residents. What would you recommend to deal with it without hurting the wildlife? If it's the liquid barley, what would the dosage be in such a small pond? I'll buy whatever you recommend plus some new hornwort as that's all covered in blanketweed now. Many thanks Julie
I would recommend Ecopond barley straw extract as it is very effective. Pro-rata based on the Lifepond the initial dose would only be 1ml, and then on-going 1/6th of this. This is not very practical to administer, and as this is a very eco-friendly product which is harmless to wildlife it cannot be over-dosed. So for practical purposes I would use 5ml (1 teaspoon) initially and say 1/4 teaspoon as a maintenance dosage. The instructions say weekly, but you may have to do it more regularly for the first few weeks, say every couple of days, to break the back of it as once established blanket weed is quite tenacious. At this dosage level a 250ml bottle will last a long time!
When is the best time to plant up my pond or bog garden?
You can pretty much plant your pond or bog garden at any time of the year, it's really down to when it suits you to do it. All our plants are fully hardy and grown either outdoors or in an open-sided polytunnel so are used to the cold!
The only restriction is if it's really cold in winter the pond or bog garden may be frozen solid so practically speaking planting will be difficult. We are also unable to dispatch when we have hard frosts as our plants tend to get frozen in their crates and our hoses freeze solid!
Many publications and websites will say Spring is the best time to do it as the water is warming and the plants will establish well, however whilst this is true these are the same plants that will have overwintered in our nursery and they would be just as happy in your pond in the winter.
There are also advantages to planting out of season in that it gives plants time to acclimatise to their new pond conditions before the growing season starts, and in particular if you have a new pond or one with sparse planting you will be providing habitat for wildlife -for example frogs can spawn in January in some areas. You will also get the benefit of early starting plants such as Marsh marigolds which can flower in February if conditions are right.
It's really a question of aesthetics and availability: out of season the plants may have little or no top growth, will be largely dormant and will not do much until Spring arrives, but they will be good healthy well-rooted plants; also some varieties will not be available or ready.