Category Archives: Uncategorized

The New Way To Protect Your Plants From The Heat

Physical Plant Protection Is Past Its Prime

British weather is some of the most changeable in the world. While we don’t have a lot of ‘extreme’ weather, it’s nearly impossible to accurately predict, which can make life very difficult for gardeners.

That’s why we have so many physical methods of protecting our plants. Plant blankets for cover in the winter and greenhouse shading and water irrigation in the summer are a few of the most popular methods. But it’s always been hotly debated as to how well these methods really work.

This is why we have developed a range of products that can protect your plants from unpredictable weather more efficiently. We know that by bringing out certain qualities in plants, we can help them to help themselves by managing their natural reaction to stressful situations.

Here’s an example – When a plant is subject to high temperatures its natural reaction is to wilt and abort its flowers in a last ditch attempt to survive. This happens because the plant can’t get enough moisture from the soil in order to cope with the high temperatures.

This adds up to the risk of your plants dying when a sudden hot spell comes along.

However, by changing the plant’s natural reaction to heat stress you can save them from this fate. Envii Chill Out reprograms the plant’s natural reaction by redirecting a plant’s growth into its roots rather than growing upwards and suppresses the gene that makes a plant abort flowers and shoots. This means that when high temperatures come along, the plant has a much larger source of water and nutrients to survive on. Then, when the temperature drops to a normal level, the plant automatically returns to its normal growth and development.

The product was initially designed for glasshouses in the Middle East where temperatures soar to over 40°C. Then, having been extensively tested by the University of Nottingham, we decided to launch it to amateur and professional gardeners alike. This means that, without the need for complicated water irrigation systems, unreliable shading or constant tending to, gardeners can grow their plants without the risk of them dying from heat stress.

Click here for more information on Envii Chill Out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Is Your Pond Losing Water

Why Is My Water Level Dropping?

We can probably rule out the baby emptying your pond! But lets have a look at some of the common causes of water loss.

Pond water levels dropping is a common problem that many pond owners come across and at first can seem quite worrying. Naturally, everybody’s first thoughts are “I have a leak in my pond” and “there must be a rip in the pond liner”. However, only about 5% of suspected leaks turn out to be leaks, so don’t panic just yet!

There are a few different reasons that could be causing the water levels to drop and we will go through them below so that you can diagnose what is causing your water to disappear.

Evaporation

This is the most common reason for water levels dropping although it may not seem possible as water levels can drop more than 1 inch per day. Depending on the time of year and where your pond is located in the garden, if it is exposed to long amounts of direct sunlight it is possible for significant amounts of water to evaporate.

Pond Plants

Depending on what plants you keep in your pond and what time of year they flower, this can also contribute highly to water loss. If you have plants that bloom during the summer months they will need to absorb high levels of water, couple this with the natural evaporation in summer months and it is easy to see how water levels can drop.

Splashes

If you have a waterfall, water feature or fountain pond pump in your pond setup, these could be the culprit to your disappearing water. If they are not perfectly aligned, they can splash or spray small amounts of water out of your pond. Spend a couple of minutes watching your waterfall, feature or fountain to see if you can see any obvious water splashes. If you see any splashes, adjust any rocks to direct water or change the flow rate to keep splashes to a minimum.

Leaking Pipework

Check all fastenings on pump pipework. These can sometimes be made of brittle plastic that overtime will degrade and possibly crack or split causing small leaks in pipework joints. If you do spot a leak around the filter box, try and diagnose where it is coming from and replace the part.

All the above reasons can contribute to the loss of water in a pond and unfortunately it is something that is likely to happen throughout the year. Where possible, top your pond up with water collected in a water butt, if this is not possible, use tap water. Either way, we recommend using Pond Equaliser to remove any harmful chemicals and stabilise the added water.

Featured Products – Feed & Fortify and Feed & Protect

What Are Feed & Protect & Feed & Fortify?

This weeks featured products are Feed & Protect and Feed & Fortify.
Feed & Protect and Feed & Fortify are both dual function slug and snail repellents that feed plants whilst deterring pests. They are both 100% safe for all wildlife, pets and humans and can’t be washed away in the rain like other slug products.

How Do Feed & Protect and Feed & Fortify Work?

Feed & Protect is a powder that is dissolved in water and applied to a plants foliage. The plant then absorbs the nutrients provided in the powder to improve growth whilst simultaneously making the plant distasteful to molluscs. The bitter taste that is created by Feed & Protect is so subtle that it cannot be detected by humans. Feed & Protect is a great alternative that will not harm slugs.

Feed & Fortify is made from diatomaceous earth and iron silicates. Diatomaceous earth is a coarse powder that feels like sand to humans but is extremely coarse to molluscs. When slugs or snails try to go over the physical barrier created by Feed & Fortify they receive lots of tiny lacerations that break down it’s slimy coat and cause it to dehydrate and die. The Iron silicates in the powder release vital micronutrients into the soil to improve plant growth.

Don’t Just Take Our Word for It…

Ms Christine J – Have used this in 2 small areas of the garden and so far so good will await to see what happens

Karen Bergeman – Very easy to use, we bought it as needed something that would not harm my cat and others that visit, and of course the Wildlife
Thanks

Bruce Murray – Easy to apply – so far no slugs!

Where Do Slugs Live?

Slugs live underground and this is where they spend most of their time. Whilst underground, they will digest any seedlings that have been planted, lay eggs and feed on the roots of developed plants. Feed & Protect makes the whole plant distasteful to slugs, including the roots and foliage but does not affect the flavour of plants to humans.

How to Stop Slugs Eating Plants?

There are two methods of stopping slugs eating plants, you can either deter them and keep them away from your plants or you can kill them. Copper tape is often used as a deterrent for slugs but people have mixed results with it and some say that if the slug really wants to get over it, they will! Feed & Protect makes plants distasteful to slugs and as a result they won’t eat them making it the perfect deterrent.
Poisonous slug pellets are often used to kill slugs and whilst these are fairly effective, they are very unsightly and can be fatal to pets, other wildlife and children. Feed & Fortify is a great way to kill slugs as it is 100% safe for pets, and children and acts as a dual product by feeding the plant whilst repelling slugs.

Best Way to Kill Slugs?

There are numerous ways of killing slugs. From poisonous slug pellets, to traps that are designed to lure in slugs, trap them and then kill them. Most of these methods are successful and will kill slugs, however, many of them are unsightly and spoil the aesthetics of your garden or allotment. Feed & Fortify is and effective slug killer that is made of diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is a natural product that is made up from fossilized crustaceans and sea creatures. To humans, pets and other wildlife, it just feels like sand, but to molluscs it is extremely rough and causes lots of lacerations to their wet skin. This essentially dehydrates them and causes them to die.

Featured Product – Pond Equaliser

What Is Pond Equaliser?

This weeks featured product is Pond Equaliser.
Pond Equaliser instantly stabilises key water parameters in ponds and aquariums such as pH, KH, GH and ammonia. It is crucial that these parameters are balanced as they determine the biological balance in a pond. Balanced and stable water parameters provide both fish and beneficial bacteria with perfect living conditions and reduces the risk of algae, sludge and blanket weed.
Pond Equaliser only contains ingredients that are naturally found in water and are completely harmless to fish, wildlife and humans.

How Does Pond Equaliser Work?

Pond Equaliser adds essential minerals to pond water to stabilise the key water properties such as the carbonate hardness (KH), the pH and the general hardness (GH)
It also adds calcium to the water to neutralise any toxic heavy metals (found in tap water) and eliminate ammonia which is a by-product of fish waste breaking down.
By improving the water quality, the biological capabilities of the pond are dramatically increased, ensuring bacterial based maintenance products work at maximum efficiency.

Don’t Just Take Our Word for It…

MJA – Pond colour has definitely changed from Pea Green and getting clearer – not fully there yet but is looking good.

Jules – Used in conjunction with Envii Pond Klear worked miracles. Within 4 days could see the fish again and green weed cleared.

Amazon Customer – Did what it said on the pack tested water and fish are happy now!

What Are the Ideal Water Parameters for Fish?

Oxygen levels in your pond should be a minimum of 5.0 mg/L and a maximum of 18mg/L.

Ph levels should be kept as neutral as possible at around 7, but they can fluctuate down to 6.8 and up to 8.2 whilst still be classed as healthy.

KH levels, or carbonate hardness levels, should be kept at around 105ppm but can fluctuate by 15ppm either way and still be classed as healthy.

Ammonia levels should be at zero as they can be very harmful to fish, Nitrite levels should be as close to zero as possible and Nitrate levels can be up to 50ppm.

For more information, read our blog on the Ideal Water Parameters.

Why Is It Important to Monitor The pH Of Pond Water?

It is essential to monitor your pH levels very closely as they can have fatal effects on your fish if you don’t. Your pH level should sit around 7, which is neutral on the pH scale. With every digit above this, your fish come closer to being exposed to dangerous levels of high acidity and alkalinity. High acidity and alkalinity can increase the toxicity of any ammonia in your pond. Ammonia can cause physical burns to your fish’s gills and if it becomes too high will cause ammonia poisoning.

How to Lower Pond pH?

Lowering your ponds pH levels is very easy. As you are reading this we will assume you have checked your water with a test kit and found that your pH levels are too high.

The next step is simple. Follow the instructions for Pond Equaliser and your water parameters (pH, KH, GH, Ammonia & Heavy Metals) will be stable within a few hours.

Why Is My Pond pH So High?

The first thing to do if you get a high pH reading is to take another. Make sure you take one reading in the morning and one later in the day, ideally with similar weather conditions. The reason for this is that algae is more active in the late morning and will be sucking up carbon dioxide which will in turn cause your pH to read high. The algae are less active first thing in the morning and later at night which is why it is best to take two readings.

If your pH level is still high, treat your pond with Pond Equaliser and then take two readings 24 hours later.

 

Liquid Seaweed Fertiliser Benefits

History Of Seaweed Fertiliser

Seaweed has been used for centuries, mainly in coastal areas, as a natural way to improve the condition and fertility of soil. As well as containing several useful plant nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphate and magnesium, seaweed also contains several trace nutrients that are essential to improving a plants health.

Seaweed used to be used in its natural form and just thrown onto the compost heap. This method is still good practice as seaweed is high in nitrogen and compost loves nitrogen. However, unless you own the beach where you intend to collect the seaweed, there is no public right to collect seaweed, unless it is for scientific use. If you intend to collect seaweed, we advise you contact the local council before doing so.

As seaweed grows in very harsh conditions, it acquires unique anti-stress compounds that are then passed on to plants when used as a fertiliser. Seaweed is immersed in salt water, dried out, baked in the sun, soaked with rain and bathed again in salt water.

Organic Liquid Seaweed Fertiliser

SeaFeed Xtra is a new organic, liquid seaweed fertiliser that differs from other seaweed fertilisers as it contains a higher percentage of physical seaweed. Most seaweed fertilisers contain between 1-3%, ours contains 5% and that is why it is so dark in colour!

As well as a higher percentage of seaweed, SeaFeed Xtra also contains an additional nutrient that helps deliver micro nutrients directly to the main arteries of the plant.

Don’t just take our word for it though!

Richard, one half of the Two Thirsty Gardeners has used SeaFeed Xtra on his Chilli plants with some great results.

Read his review here>> SeaFeed Review

What Is Pond Sludge?

Ponds have sludge, that’s a fact! No matter how often you clean the pond, there will always be a layer of organic matter sat at the bottom.

What Is Pond Sludge?

Pond sludge is made up of the organic materials that are found in and around your pond. Ranging from fish food, faeces and plant debris, all this matter falls to the bottom of your pond and starts to rot. This sludge then becomes impenetrable to oxygen and goes into an anaerobic state, causing the bacteria to produce Hydrogen Sulphide. As many of you will know, Hydrogen Sulphide smells like rotten eggs (you may have come across this smell after disturbing the bottom of your pond or cleaning out your filters). As Hydrogen Sulphide is toxic, it will eventually start to kill off other living things in your pond, starting with the important aerobic bacteria. The lack of bacteria will then lead to your pond plants and fish suffering, deteriorating and eventually dying. As more and more of your pond life dies it adds to your layer of pond sludge and creates a vicious cycle.

However, pond sludge is not the end of the world and if you have sludge in your pond, don’t worry, it is easy to treat and we will come back to this.

How Do I Prevent Pond Sludge?

Preventing and minimising the amount of sludge is easy enough to do and will keep your pond running efficiently. Be sure to remove any floating debris as and when you see it. Take care when cutting your lawn as lawn cuttings can easily find their way into the pond and quickly sink to the bottom. Finally, use aquatic cloth liners or aquatic gravel in submerged plants to keep the fish from digging them up. Koi especially, find digging up plants very amusing!

How to Remove Pond Sludge?

So, you have done all you can to prevent this layer of sludge from forming, but the inevitable has happened and you have acquired pond sludge.

There are two things you can do at this point. You can either physically remove the pond sludge using your hands or a pond vacuum. These will get rid of the physical matter but will remove some of the helpful, aerobic bacteria and leave behind some of the harmful Hydrogen Sulphide.

The second thing you can do is to add extra, beneficial bacteria into the pond to “attack” the pond sludge, break it down and digest it whilst topping up the aerobic bacteria in your pond. Envii Sludge Klear contains a unique blend of bacteria and enzymes that break down and digest the pond sludge. Sludge Klear can be used as a treatment product and maintenance product to keep your bacteria levels high and sludge levels low all year round.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Jobs For Your Pond

It’s March 20th and spring is officially here so it’s time to start working on your pond, clearing up after the winter and preparing for the rest of the year.

Most of the UK had a mild winter and despite the Met Office’s warning of Thundersnow back in January, we haven’t had much snow or ice this year. Because of the milder temperatures, there is a possibility that pond sludge and algae have been active in your pond for a good proportion of the winter months as they can grow down to temperatures as low as 8°C.

Preparation Is Key

First things first, if you have any plans for your pond this year, now is the time to start putting them into action. Make sure you have all your pond maintenance supplies and feed stocked up, there is nothing worse than running out of something when you need it most! Go over your filters and pump and make sure everything is clean and working as it should be.

Remove Debris

Remove any obvious debris that could have made its way into the pond over winter. Small pebbles, rocks, leaves & twigs can all be blown or washed into your pond and if they degrade, they will eventually turn into pond sludge. Be sure to clear any loose debris from around the edges of your pond as well as these will make their way in.

Inspect all your aquatic plants and remove any that have not survived the winter. Remove any dead leaves and trim back accordingly.

Pond Sludge & Algae

As we mentioned above, the winter has been mild and pond sludge may have been active in your pond for a few months now. Be sure to use your Pond Klear and Sludge Klear early as it can work down to temperatures as low as 4°C. If you have been using Winter Pond throughout the winter months you may not have much sludge so have a look before dosing up.

pH Levels

Your pond hasn’t had much attention for a few months and although chemical and bacterial levels don’t change much in the cold, it is always good practice to use a test kit to ensure your water conditions are perfect.

Poor water quality and the fast transition in a ponds conditions coming out of winter and into spring can lead to “spring kill” which refers to the loss of fish at the start of spring due to series of related water quality issues