Forum

Start new topic
page 1/2 go to

Ponds in Winter weather

leah
by leah

We've had our first really hard frost which froze the water in our ponds to 1". easily broken.  Pumps off.  Pond covered.

 

In the Sat Telegraph Gardening section it stated that putting a small ball onto the pond will stop the water freezing. WHY do people keep repeating this MYTH!!!!!  in 25+ years of pond keeping I have NEVER found that a ball will keep a hole in the ice to enable fish/frogs to breath.  I have in the past removed a bucket of water so that there is an air-gap between the surface and the formation of thick ice.  Sadly the last 2 years frogs have died :-(((( even though last Winter I was out there every hour in the coldest weather with an old saucepan + boiling water ........

 

How do you manage to keep an air-hole free of ice?

every change is scarey even if we want it
last edited on
davecook
#1
by davecook

Boiling water will tend to freeze quicker than cold water. A ball floating in the pond can be removed, without cracking the ice and causing shock waves that harm the underwater life.

I use my heron frame and layer horticultural fleece and bubble wrap on the frame, which is an incredibly good insulation and keeps the pond from freezing in even the coldest spells. Bubble is waterproof, which keeps the fleece dry which is important for fleece to work at it's best. Much safer than rushing about with pans of boiling water every hour on icy paths...... wink

 

All humans should be free range and never kept in offices!
leah
#2
by leah

You've watched me skidding and sliding then Dave LOL!  I only saw an advert for heron frame this evening in the Sat. telegraph ...... himself has put wire with plastic sheeting over to stop the worst of the weather.  I find a ball will get frozen into the ice and causes more problems than taking a kettle of water into the saucepan.  I have never had any fish die due to breaking the ice ;-)

every change is scarey even if we want it
HarmonyHerd
#3
by HarmonyHerd

Float a polystyrene tile in the pond.  When the water freezes, it is easy to cut a hole in the tile.

I leave both of mine to freeze over, and I have lots of frogs, newts, water beetles etc.  One is 3 foot deep and the other is 12 foot deep.  The large one supplies water for pigs, so I had to bash it with a pick every day a couple of years ago to make drinking holes. 

If you have a large expanse of ice, break a bit off and chuck it in the middle of the lake.  It shatters and all the bits skid off at high speed in all directions.  Well, it amused me!

doniv
#4
by doniv
Posted by: davecook

Boiling water will tend to freeze quicker than cold water.  ........

 

Perhaps you'd show us the Maths for that wives tale dave ?

'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind. - Shakespear - King Lear
doniv
#5
by doniv

You either need a flock of ducks swimming around in circles - OR perhaps a 5 litre plastic drinks bottle with 4 and three quarters litres of water in - and an electric aquarium heater ? Standing in a reasonably shallow bit - that should keep a small area in liquid form.

'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind. - Shakespear - King Lear
hermit
#6
by hermit

I thought frogs came out of the ponds to hibernate over WinterConfused I have no ponds as such but three spring head ponds that dry up sometimes. They have frogs in them but I pile logs and leaves and twigs etc to make hibernating places for them.

alchemist
#7
by alchemist

Having a pond over 2 feet deep should be sufficient to keep things alive in the UK. In very cold weather they tend to go for the deeper water.

HH, I enjoy watching the ice shooting in all directions too. Laughing

doniv
#8
by doniv

There are some African frogs which go into a form of suspended animation in drought hermit, wrapping themselves in a cocoon of dried slime.

Generally speaking though you're absolutely right. Frogs cannot breathe under water and four months holding your breath would be a super - frog effort !

Toads dig burrows if they can. Frogs find shelter and hibernate on Land, so keeping a pond clear for them would be pointless.

'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the blind. - Shakespear - King Lear
Pippa G
#9
by Pippa G
Posted by: doniv

You either need a flock of ducks swimming around in circles -

I remember one year in Poole Park a swan forgot to keep swimming and froze solid in the ice. In the morning there wasn't much of it left...a fox had trotted over the ice and had probably the easiest meal of the winter Rolleyes 

leah
#10
by leah

One of our ponds is 3 feet deep but the frogs died due to lack of oxygen :-( - 55 of them ..... I've tried the polysterene blocks, tried balls of varying sizes, don't have ducks ..........

 

Female frogs remain in the ponds, males wonder away: or the other way round can't remember which Rolleyes  3 weeks ago there was a male croacking all of one day!

every change is scarey even if we want it
page 1/2 go to
To leave a response to the post you will need to be a registered user. Sign-up here or Login here
@rivercottage
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Learn a new skill this year + help save #bees! Come on our #beekeeping course this summer: https://t.co/fMUYOxRHyx http…
  • RT @ThisisDavina: I love Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. #Scandimania
  • @ThisisDavina thanks for the love, Davina! x
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: The ultimate rural retreat...allow us to present to you our Four Day Cookery Course! link http://t.co…
  • Exciting! Look what's arrived in the office, hot off the press... #pigsandpork Congrats @GillMeller! link
  • RT @JamiesFoodTube: Who's that in the @rivercottage kitchen? Why it's @tesswardchef knocking up a storm! link http://t.co…
  • . @samgorecomedian If you aspire to a career in comedy this does not reflect well. Neither, thanks to you, does our mirror.
  • RT @DeborahMeaden: “@bristolcanteen: Somebody told us @DeborahMeaden popped in for lunch. Hope you enjoyed it! #celebrityspotting in #Brist…
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Only 7 tickets left for our @martinharley gig in April. Don't miss out! https://t.co/H8x7p0PrL8 link
  • A beautiful sunset over the valley tonight! link
  • RT @RCChefsSchool: Welcoming our first #Trainees to River Cottage - the first step of their 3 month work experience programme. link
  • Hey @nationaltrust still looking for lovely frosty pics? :o)
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Wrap up warm, it's frosty out there! link
  • RT @plymouthcanteen: Feeling hungry this lunch time... Visit @plymouthcanteen for 3 small plates for only £10! link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Tickets just released for our @sohsteve gig on 22 May, which kick starts our #RCFoodFair weekend. Grab a ticket now! ht…
  • Make the most of your oven's energy, cook meals in bulk where poss. Reheating uses less energy. Top tip via @wwwfoecouk
  • . @johnmushroom looks like someone needs a #selfie stick!
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: We have discounted tickets available for this Sunday's dining experience. Gather your loved ones + come on down! https:…
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: The only thing blue about our Monday is the sky. #BlueMonday link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Want to meet @GillMeller and hear about his forthcoming book #pigsandpork? Don't miss this! https://t.co/MHIsUvUb7t htt…
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Gain work-experience in our @RCChefsSchool – free traineeships starting 26 Jan – travel expenses paid. link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: How much cake is too much cake? The fruits of our labour from today's #cake course in our #cookeryschool... http://t.co…
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Hooray! #pastrysuccess #choux link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Oh dear #pastryfail link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Time for our third breakfast of the day. It's a hard life at our #cookeryschool... link
  • RT @RiverCottageHQ: Time for a second breakfast at the #cookeryschool... Drop scones with runny honey. link
  • @anneHuscroft1 so lovely to hear, thanks Anne! Any plans to come back to the farm soon?
  • RT @Hartsturkeys: Great stuff @ChefTomKerridge @BBCFoodandDrink @rivercottage. The best 30mins of TV this week. Looking forward to @Corriga
  • RT @jiholland111: @rivercottage @BBCFoodandDrink Great show. Excellent banter with @ChefTomKerridge :)
  • @linsalad @BBCFoodandDrink glad to hear it :o)
  • Hope you are all enjoying Hugh on @BBCFoodandDrink right now, BBC2!
  • @CharlotteClare1 sorry, blame Hugh!
  • And of course we couldn't let Hugh go without a birthday cake #50yearsofHugh #AskHugh link
  • And if you'd like to buy the book, check it out here! #lightandeasy #askHugh link
  • Thank you, its been great chatting! Have to dash, making a birthday cake for a fellow 50-year-old. Chocolate + hazelnut, pg 374! #askHugh
  • .@Eco_Gite It spreads like mad so not in the veg patch, better in a big pot, but it does take nearly a year to produce good sized roots.
  • . @Lou_la_may Default topping is a sprinkling of soft brown sugar but a trickle of runny honey is also great. #askHugh
  • .@trishaocf Could be your choice of flour or that your sd starter needs a feed up, take a good tblsp, feed it for a few days & start again.
  • . @bookslinger always lovely to hear that people are cooking from my books and enjoying the results! #askHugh
  • .@harrycornwall Cider is a good choice, I would choose a fairly dry one as the onions are quite sweet #AskHugh
  • . @_DjTC_ soon! Early Feb is good, provided you can keep them frost-free. A sunny window is good. #askHugh
  • .@IantheCW I'm all over the roots right now, big trays of them roasted and finished with a sprinkling of toasted seeds and spices #AskHugh
  • . @ACoSfChildren but it's so flat! Actually I do have a soft spot for Norfolk and it's been a while so who knows. #askHugh
  • .@rojob1 Yes, series 3 coming your way very soon and as ever Paul champions the sustainable approach to fish, veg and meat #AskHugh
  • . @missaniela really sorry but I'm not around for that one. I will be here for the Spring Food Fair in May... #askHugh
  • .@pupspigspoulets We said goodbye to our Oxford Sandy & Blacks before Christmas, they were fab! We like ringing the changes though. #AskHugh
  • . @bookslinger It's always a treat to be given other people's goodies. Of course I try them! #askHugh
  • .@GrowandEat That's a tough one to comment on without knowing the whole picture.
  • . @MyrtlesGarden there's a lovely potato gnocchi recipe in RC Veg and you could swap a GF flour in for the wheat flour. #askHugh
  • .@pickleshlee A good way to deliver vitamins and fibre but not to be drunk by the gallon as they are often quite high in sugar #AskHugh
Login or Sign-up

Login & Sign-up

Forgotten your password? Retrieve it here
Or connect via Facebook
Connect with Facebook
Join River Cottage
Close
Shopping basket: 0 items £0.00