Ducks, Pond Plants and Pest ControlWithin the water garden and nursery we have 10 canal style ponds that run vertically across the garden. They are stocked full of pond plants including deep floating water plants, marginals, oxygenating plants and a great range of water irises.
Ponds can quickly become covered with weed and it only takes the smallest amount to come in on the feet of a bird or animal and the whole pond can soon be covered. To keep our 10 ponds clean of weed takes a lot of man power so that is why we decided to hire in a quack team to help us. We have three ducks in the garden. An Indian Runner called Gemima and two white Campbells called snow and white. They have made an amazing impact on the ponds. They eat every single bit of weed in the ponds. They are also great at reducing the slug and snail populations that come with having a wet garden and they lay us an egg everyday. We would never be able to keep up with the speed that they weed the ponds, they are fantastic. You do have to manage them though as they can get a little overexcited.
We have learnt that winter is the best time to let them loose in the ponds and in spring when new shoots start showing we move them down to the bottom of the garden away from the stock ponds to a pond of their own. So they basically have a summer residence and a winter residence. This also gives the wildlife in the ponds a chance to thrive through the summer months the frog spawn, newts and dragonflies.
Ducks do also eat some pond plants like sagittaria, Orontium aquaticum and Aponogeton distachyos. Our ducks don't eat the water lilies but they do disturb and damage the leaves. Thank fully they don't eat irises which is great for us. So we work with our ducks to keep our ponds clean and reduce our garden pests giving them a good home in return. They are great characters and a big part of the team.