Filed under: garden, Minnesota, pond, water garden | Tags: broad leaf arrowhead, garden, Minnesota, plants, pond, water garden, water hyacinth, water lettuce
My pond has been overrun by floaters this year and something has to be done.
I took half a wheel borrow full of floaters to the compost pile earlier this week and the floaters filled the cleared spot up the next day. All of this green is from 10 small plants purchased in early June.
The floaters in my pond are water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) and water hyacinth (Eichhoria crassipes). They are just leaves and roots. So far neither of these plants have bloomed for me.
The roots on the water lettuce are about 8 inches long on mature plants. The plants send out side shoots with smaller plants on them. As the plant gets bigger, it also sends out more babies. They continue to grow as long as they can reach water.
Water hyacinth are much like the water lettuce in that they are just green plant and roots, and they send out shoots to produce more plants. The hyacinth have bladders to help keep them afloat. In southern states they are considered invasive. Some places in Africa and Asia they will heap hyacinth together to make floating islands where people will live. Here in Minnesota both plants will freeze off as winter nears. Then I just net them up and add them to the compost pile.
If you look at the bottom of the picture you can see the newest addition to the pond, sagittaria latifolia. Sagittaria latifolia is a plant found in shallow wetlands and is sometimes known as broadleaf arrowhead, duck potato, Indian potato, or wapato. This plant produces edible tubers that were extensively used by the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Filed under: fish, garden, house, pond, projects, rain, water garden, weather | Tags: floating water plants, garden, Koi, pond, railing, screen porch, water garden, weather
It looks great, and adds a bit of safety also. It’s only 4 steps up and a drop to soft grass so we were not worried about spacing on the bars. The hand rail will help get up and down the steps.
When we were in Colorado we found some nice brackets to add to the west posts of the porch, they were installed Sunday also.
They will allow the hanging of some decorative items to add some color.
Our floaters in the pond are really growing in this warm weather. Here’s the pond on June 30th,
and here’s the pond today, July 9. More and more the year old koi are turning from black to orange. It’s fun to watch them all come when I feed them, it is taking more and more food to make them happy.
I finally found our newest batch of kittens today, they are about 2 weeks old. Mom is not happy to have me around so I left them alone for now. When they get older I’ll start getting to know them.
Our grass is starting to show signs of stress from the heat of last week. Many places are starting to turn brown. No rain is forecast for the next week, but temperatures will be a bit cooler than they were.
Some areas in the corn are showing a lack of water. This was more pronounced in the 100 degree heat. Now that temps are in the mid 80′s the roots are able to keep up with the demand for water. There is some water if you go deep enough, I just hope it is enough to get the crop to the next rainfall.
Filed under: fish, Minnesota, pond, spring, water garden | Tags: garden, Koi, Minnesota, plants, pond, sedum, spring, warm temperatures, water garden, water plants
It’s March, we should not be having weather this nice, but my pond is greening up so it’s time to get cleaning.
After this mornings fog burned off the weather turned really warm. Temperatures approaching 80 degrees were found in our area. This is unusual for March here in southwestern Minnesota. I was hauling beans in to town, but an oil leak in the engine compartment of the truck meant I needed to add 1 gallon of oil to the truck motor. The truck is now in the shop getting fixed. What to do?
My visits to the pond revealed not only awakening frogs, but new leaves on many of the plants in or near the pond. It’s time for a pond Spring cleaning.
These pond side plants are sending out green shoots. These plants have been here at the waters edge all winter. I started seeing some green here before the ice was completely out of the pond. This is much earlier than would have been possible the last two years.
If you look in the water near the center of the picture you can see one orange baby koi and a few little circles in the water indicating more just under the surface. Last years hatch of koi are checking out the water’s surface for food. I counted three larger koi and at least 19 first years. Too bad that most of them are dark colors.
The plants that normally would grow just under the waters surface had their pots moved to deeper water for the winter. Now they are sending leaves up to the surface. You can see the two pots as green leaves near the center of the picture. Today I moved them to their platforms so they could grow in the place they should. It meant putting on the chest waders so I could go into that COLD water.
Part of the spring pond cleaning is to remove some of the dead plant material from the bottom of the pond. Leaves that blew in last fall started to rot on the bottom of the pond and they make some really good compost. They do tend to take some of the oxygen from the water when they rot so air needs to get mixed into the water either with a bubbler or by pumping water down a “creek” when there is ice on the pond. Not all of the material should be removed from the pond bottom since frogs and turtles need that as a place to hide. You can see the water plant on its shelf in the middle of the pond.
Shore line plant material needs to be removed to keep it from entering the water as they break up. Removing the plant material revealed these sedum starting to come up. There were several other perennial plants starting to green up. There will be more to do if the weather stays warm. As with any garden, this one takes work to keep it nice. Spring is coming!
Filed under: cats, cold, fish, garden, pond, water garden | Tags: cats, flowers, frogs, garden, goldfish, Koi, pond, turtles, water garden
Although some areas near by were affected by the early frost this past week, our ponds remain healthy and blooming. The Sedum is in full bloom and a few other flowers continue to bloom near the pond daily. I was surprised to see the Blackie with a pale purple flower hidden in the leaves one day. Sorry, I missed taking a photo of it.
The baby Koi continue to grow.
Trying to get a picture of them in the water is a challenge. Most of them are just darker spots against the sand bottom. A few have already become colorful, but most are a dark grey to black in color.
It is obvious that we had two hatches since they are of two different sizes. Even the large adults are hard to see in these pictures, so finding the young ones is really a challenge.
Most of the time the baby Koi hang out under the plants, but when I feed them they will come to the surface to grab a chunk. They have a tough time getting the big pieces of food in their mouth, but they try. Mostly they work the bits of algae off of the rocks and floor of the pond for food.
There are still a few frogs around the pond but the weather has been cool and they don’t come out much. I think the cats have been lunching on them.
The Hyacinth are not growing so well in the cooler water of the big Koi pond, but are still thriving in the smaller Goldfish pond. Most of the water plants are slowing down and could use some warmer days.
We only got a few blooms on the water lilly in the Koi pond this year, but rarely missed a day in the Goldfish pond. There is one there yet today. The water lilies seem to prefer to be open when the sun hits them and close up when they are in shade.
I’ve not seen a sign of the turtles since the hatch. I don’t even know if any survived. The old nest was cleaned out by some creature just last week.
There’s the pond news for the week, come by and see them for yourself some time.
Filed under: garden, Minnesota, pond, water garden, Wildlife | Tags: garden, Minnesota, painted turtles, pond, turtle, turtles, water garden
In the early days of our Koi pond our landscaper had brought us some turtles. Those turtles decided to head off for bigger ponds and our pond was turtleless. Later he brought us some turtle eggs which we gently buried near the pond. At that time he told us to expect a September first hatch. As I was walking by the pond just now I looked down to see a bit of turtle shell peeking out of the mulch.
Soon you could see a little turtle checking out the world.
Once he hit the water, he was gone between the rocks in no time at all.
There are three more eggs in the mulch and I can see that they are already split. The babies will go into hiding as they grow larger. When winter comes they will burrow into the sand and silt on the bottom to sleep off the cold months. I’m hoping they will call my pond home for some time. Just another exciting bit of news from the pond.
Filed under: garden, home addition, house, Minnesota, pond, summer, water garden | Tags: flowers, garden, Koi, Minnesota, pond, porch, summer, water garden
Many of the plants I put in or around the pond have started to bloom lately. Some I remember the name of, some I cannot. Those that I don’t remember for sure are not appearing in any online listing, so you will have to help me guess their names.
Our water lilies are now in bloom. These are part of the same ones we have in the front pond. I just broke off a part of the root mass and transplanted it to this pond. Since the water is deeper and colder it took a while longer to bloom here, but is worth the wait. The koi will usually hang out near this plant.
This, I think, is a marsh daisy. It’s planted with about 2 inches of water over the pot. To get the right depth I set the pot, actually more like a basket, on top of a rock. The yellow flower just emerged today.
This pond side planter contains bogwort. It likes its roots wet, but the crown of the plant above water. The plant on the right started blooming two days ago, the one on the left should be in bloom tomorrow. This planter is sitting on an underwater shelf with a few rocks on it to get the depth right.
Growing between the rocks by our bench is creeping thyme. It’s not a big plant, but ideally suited for an area that will get walked on. You can see that neither the plants, nor the flowers are very big.
I have four different varieties of this succulent, each a different color. They are planted next to the house where it doesn’t get much rain because the roof overhang. They bloom when they get a little rain, but don’t mind being dry.
This hen and chicks has an unusual flower. It will be interesting to see what happens next.
We.ve added a bit of patriotic bunting to the porch wall. The porch has an old time look already so bunting just helps set it off.
I’ve also added some low voltage lights to light up the stairs. You see them as a black circle just under the railing. They don’t show up much during the day, but at night they light up the area quite nicely.
I need to get the screens and screen doors on before summer is over and a railing for the step area. I’ll find a few other things that I need to do before this is all over I’m sure, but for now we’re enjoying our porch and the pond in bloom.
Filed under: family, fish, friends, garden, pond, water garden, Wildlife | Tags: family, fish, friends, Koi, painted turtles, pond, turtles, water garden
Today was the after wedding party at our house. Since most of Michael’s family had come a long distance for the wedding, we invited family members from both sides to our farm for the gift opening. This party was the reason I had been working so hard on the landscaping and pond.
The house had been cleaned, plants had been planted all around the house, and grass replaced. A pond with all of it’s plants and fish had been completed. The new porch had received new furniture. A large tent had been erected and decorated. We were ready to party.
Part way through the party I got a call that I had been waiting for. The turtles were coming.
Our town’s annual celebration has turtle races each year and I had been promised the turtles found by our landscaper after the race. In the middle of the party they were delivered.
Yertle and Crush were instant celebrities with all present except the Koi. Young and old peered into the pond to watch them. The Koi were visibly upset. They did not like these new neighbors.
The turtles are Painted Turtles common in our area. It is hoped that they will like their new home and assist me in keeping it clean. They definitely add a new bit of interest to the pond,
Filed under: fish, garden, house, pond, water garden | Tags: fish, garden, Koi, pond, screen porch, water garden
When I got my last Koi I was told he had one more he wanted to sell but could not catch it. Today I got the call that the elusive Koi had been captured.
It’s a beauty, a bit bigger than the other big one I got (over 12 inches) and definitely fatter. For a while it just hung around the upper part of the pond, then it went off to explore the rest of the pond, and see the other fish. We’ll see how they all get along in the pond. Since they all came from the same place originally everything should be fine.
Here’s some more pictures of the pond.
Notice the sign.
There are good views from both sides.
Work has started on the steps for the porch. Things should be ready for the wedding.
Filed under: garden, Minnesota, planting, pond, rain, Uncategorized, water garden | Tags: garden, Minnesota, Planting, pond, rain, rocks, water garden, weather
The last week has been a bit wet and more rain is now falling. If I had really wanted to I could have planted about a day in the entire week. Due to some tractor problems we decided to take two of our tractors into the shop to have some work done on them. Nothing major, yet, but something that needed to be fixed.
We had about an inch of rain for the week. Nothing real heavy, just several days where it dripped rain for hours. My option to field work was getting the landscape work done by the pond. I’ve spent a lot of time trudging around in muddy boots to get rocks and planters set.
That work meant being in the pond and the water is still very cold, thus the chest waders.
I have finally gotten a chance to start work on the bridge, another focal and viewing point for the pond. It’s full of some interesting angles and will make me scratch my head a bit to get the job done right.
The most important step happened today as I completed the electrical hookups that allowed me to start the pump for the stream. With the pump going I can finally set a time to get the fish. There will be lots of interest in this small space.
So despite the rains I have had plenty of progress. There are a few steps to go before the big day so I would like the rains to quit. Rain or no rain, I’ll do my best to make progress.