July 4th Pond Update

pickerel flower at whatpond

Pickerel in bloom

July fourth and the ponds are doing great so far this year. One of the most outstanding observations is the water level has stayed up full and have only dropped a few inches, but with the amount of rain we have seen the ponds topped off and flowing out their outlets. Plus the Pickerel plants are starting to bloom.

Next observation is the algae or the lack of algae this year as we had a slow start to warm weather from this brutal winter that lingered on forever. The other note on algae was we cut back all of our plants in the pond before winter hit. This was somewhat of a bummer not seeing the flowering plants for another month but worked out great for not having the seeds spreading more plants.

The other main benefit of cutting the weeds out before winter is we don’t have the mass of plants, stems, leaves and seeds dying and decaying in the pond creating more muck and nutrients which feeds the algae.
We have also been a little lax on the bacteria applications on purpose to see how the pond responds to the cutting out the mass off plants and so far we are looking pretty good but will soon be back to our pond bacteria applications due to the warmer temps and incoming water that has washed in nutrients from the watershed.

As for weather, as mentioned earlier we had a slow start with spring but ramped up pretty nice with a 4-5 day

Little Pond plant load before cutting.

Little Pond plant load before cutting.

heat wave of mid 80’s and humid. After that we had the thunder storms and now this morning I saw the thermometer at 42 this morning, brrr.

We are also trying out a couple different things this year with the big pond and baby pond. The little pond we are leaving alone. What we are doing is holding more water in the ponds since we’ve seen the short term droughts and the low levels the water evaporates to we wanted to hold a little more water for a buffer or head start before the lack of rain hits us.

The big pond was easy, we just raised the outflow pipe 4” and the water is now up to touching the deck so now you can dangle feet and part way up your leg in the water sitting on the deck. Our worst year was sitting on the deck and stretching to get a toe wet. The baby pond I just put a cup over the outflow pipe and the water backs up flows back out through the watershed, through the grass to the big pond.

small pond at whatpond

Baby Pond at WhatPond

The baby pond is just a small pond I built with the tractor to capture some water from a different area of the property. Planted plants in the pond and let the plants clean the water before it enters the big pond, sort of a bio filter. This is also our minnow pond and if someone locally needed plants we can dig them up from here. This baby pond has evolved each year, from being just a dug hole to building up the sides, adding a over flow pipe and this year filing in the low areas to divert the excess water to back up and go out around the incoming watershed.

About the Author: Darrell Rhoades is the founder of Whatpond.com. A one man business, works full time in tool & die. It all started when he built his own pond for the family. Ran into pond issues and started the research with pond suppliers and conferences for pond management. He writes about pond building and pond management and sells pond management supplies, aeration & fountains and Practical hands on experiences at Whatpond.com. . No physical store, but has items in stock.