Robin, OH MY! A lee valley thread...

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I was reading another thread and realized I have been doing without the newest gardening catalog. Halpppp!! Actualy, I am logging into your website as I write this and requesting it. Happy Holidays. SH
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Working with wood and digging in the ground. Man! Does it get any better than that? I think not.

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Mark Hopkins wrote:

Yes. When you add a pond to the mix. We love our ponds so much we grew lazy about the rest of the gardens. It's like a magnet. Sit, listen, watch, don't go weed the flower bed, stay here, listen to the water, listen, to, the, water... ahhhhh....
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Wouldn't that make me close to "pond scum" ? <grin> I can't just sit by a pond...I need a hammock! And uh, maybe a big tall glass of sweet tea!

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Silvan said:

Nope, nothin ' better.

If I were so lucky... One pond in dappled shade led to SWMBO wanting another, in the sun, so that night blooming water lilies could grow... Oh, well. What's another 3 ' deep, 400cu.ft. hole in the ground - dug by hand...
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

Mine aren't that big. I don't remember how many cubic feet, but about 180 gallons of capacity between the two of them.
Dug by hand, yes, but finished two years ago. The rest has been pleasant.
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Silvan said:

Well, the first was finished summer of 2002 - a poured concrete sill and plant ledges with rock edging, about 480 gallons - and a waterfall. There are fish that live in it all year. Problem is the damned mosquitoes - can't hardly sit outside anymore for the blood suckers. (I live in the South). We had a rainy spring and summer this year, and they just kept breeding. Being in the dappled shade, they're even bold enough to come out and bite you at noon on a full sunny day.
The second is going into a new patio built into a hillside terraced with 6x6 stacked and deadman'd retaining walls. If I though the pond was a PITA, this has it beat by miles! Then, halfway through, the roof started leaking and the water main broke - 10 year old house. I could make a career out of fixing this place - the contractor should have been shot. Yea, it's been a busy year...
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

Tiger mosquitoes. A recent addition to our local crop of faunae. Nasty bastards. They don't bother the ponds much though, and the fish eat the larvae before they can hatch.
We have more of a problem from the many tens of thousands of gallons of standing water associated with the various drainage works they built for the new road. Must be at least 20 huge, brackish part-time ponds within a couple miles of my house.

Mine too. The Money Pit we call it.
You have me trumped on the ponds, bigtime. No way I'm that ambitous. SWMBO can get her ass out and dig if she wants a pond that big. :)
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Silvan said:

We keep them out of the pond with B.T. But SWMBO leaves her weeding buckets and the wheelbarrow out in the rain for weeks, hidden behind stuff where I can't see them, and they breed fast. I bring some of the larvae in for the Aquarium fish, so I guess there is one benefit.

Same here, damned money grubbing builders are destroying the entire area. Hardly a tree left standing. And tons of erosion and drainage problems. And the crap they are building has me mystified. Not nice S.F. homes, but $200,000 quads and worse. All this in an area that was once a deeply wooded area of homes with a minimum of 1 acre. We want OUT!

I'm building the next one - on the moon.

For some reason, I saw 'her fat ass' in that sentence... <BFG>
I've tried putting her to work, but it usually turns ugly. I was on the roof last week, and needed help putting a sheet of plastic over the exposed portion because of a sudden rain. There was a light wind, or I would never have asked. Like a cat, she got up, but couldn't get down. Could not walk down the pitch of the roof to save her life - not even crab style. I laughed so hard, I nearly fell off the roof myself. Needless to say, there was hell to pay THAT night...
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

I can sympathize. My uncle doesn't actually seem to care at all, but if I were in his shoes, I'd be pissed off. Hadn't been up to his house in years. Used to be there were two houses in the middle of bumfuzzle nowhere, way up on a mountain. Sit in the swing on the hill and see nothing but trees forever.
Now he looks down on the roof of some yellow monstrosity on the other side of a very thin stand of trees. Beyond that, it's pure suburbia, with nothing to see to the horizon but cookie cutter tract housing interspersed with a couple of trees here and there.
Well, OTOH, there are like 500 billion of us now, and most of them live in New York City. If even more city people decided to move out, the country would be worse to live in than it is. We need urban people who want to pay $300,000 for a room inside a building they don't own just to keep a few of our nice wooded areas from being over-run.

I plead the fifth on that one. ;)

My results have been similar. She does dishes and laundry, cooks, goes shopping. I do man stuff. Fix toilets, paint, put in new flooring, dig ponds. That's not gender stereotyping, that's us doing what we don't suck at. She's useless with a shovel or a screwdriver. She's befuddled by the slightest mechanical problem. Why, I found a drawer full of night lights, and asked why so many. She said she couldn't figure out how to change the bulb, so she bought a new one each time. O_o
She doesn't *want* to learn how to do any of this. That's why she married *me*. Her words, not mine.
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On Wed, 24 Dec 2003 02:18:00 -0500, Silvan

Good, working system. I wish more people understood that - It would make my life a bit simpler.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net says...

Isn't your water a bit solid right about now?
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

On top, yes. They don't freeze solid. Haven't yet anyway.
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Silvan said:

Ours doesn't freeze solid, only the top inch or so. But that is why the 3' depth - keeps a geothermal warmed/insulated layer on bottom.
Silvan, what part of the country are you located in?
P.S. - It's 11:30pm here, and 57 degrees F. - GA
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

Mine are a bit more shallow than that, but haven't frozen solid. South side, black liners, full sun. Near the house too, which was a bad idea, but I didn't think about it until it was way too late. They're landscaped with dozens of local rocks I got while they were building the road through here, and I hauled at least a ton of good sized rocks one wheelbarrow at a time. They're never moving.
I'm leaving the pumps running this year too. Trying that out to see how it goes. So far, so good. Even the waterfall kept flowing on a 10 degree day. I think 5 degrees is the record low, so I'm expecting to just leave them going. Keeps them cleaner, and reduces the chances of them freezing solid, though it might eventually destroy the pumps.
All the fish are freebies from the fair last year, so I don't really care much what happens to them. I'm not a fish kind of guy.

Mountains of Virginia. Zone 6b. It's... Um. I have no idea, probably 30-something out there.
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Silvan, I've got some bad news for you, the record low temp around here is at least 10 below zero. I know because I lived here when it got that cold. Burned a lot of firewood that Winter. Must have been about 1984, give or take a year.
We have a pond too. The fish survive it being frozen over pretty well. Actually, we bought this house that had a pond and my wife took some of the plants out of the pond for the Winter (we moved in October so no time to really do much) and set them in buckets of water in the garage. Next Spring we found fish swimming around in the buckets. Goldfish will survive a lot! We did learn a few years ago that if the pond stays frozen over long enough it will kill off some of the fish. Keeping your pump going is probably a good plan. We don't have a pump in our pond, though I keep talking about adding one so we can have a waterfall.

Hey, you know those "ValPak" coupons we get in the mail around here? The pet store in Blacksburg used to put a free fish coupon in every month. That's how we got more for our pond. Fish keep the mosquitos out of the pond, but my wife tends to leave buckets and stuff sitting around where they collect rain water. Haven't been able to break her of that habit . . . sigh.

According to the National Weather Service web site it is currently 37F with a high of 43 expected today. Low is supposed to be 22 tonight, and highs in the mid 50s by the end of the week.
Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
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Bill Ranck responds:

1985, IIRC. I was just about the only one in Bedford County that didn't have frozen pipes. Learned long ago that opening the cabinets under sink and lav and leaving a slight drip flowing tends to reduce such problems. I wouldn't want to do it on a city water system...you'd go broke. I think it hit 5 below that night and wasn't far off a couple other nights. I was using wood heat that winter, two stoves in an old farmhouse. Flat used up some firewood.

Oh well. Mine leaves rakes with the teeth up. I'd rather have your buckets.
Charlie Self
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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My $0.02CAD is that running a pump during the winter is harder on the fish. This is because the fish are using more energy to swim in the current created by the pump while their metabolism is slowed due to the cold. It was suggested to use by a local breeder of pond fish to use a floating stock pond heater. We hooked this to a timer because of the smaller size of the pond - about 4x8x2deep - so that the temperature wouldn't rise too much. My dad said that his father would bring the fish to the basement in a galvanized tub for the winter. Staying in a cold section of the basement would keep them in hibernation, with no need for food or a pump for the water. I'm thinking the water would need to be topped up on occasion.
HTH, Jeffo

it
leave
freezing
care
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snipped-for-privacy@vt.edu said:

Common practice for ponds is this: Run the pumps till the temperature drops. The fish go fairly dormant during cold weather. Shut the pumps off when the temp drops below 50. This keeps a warmer layer of water at the bottom of the pond. When it freezes over, knock a hole in the ice, this allow oxygen exchange to occur. When the weather warms up, turn the pumps back on. It is advisable to remove the pumps, clean them up, and store in a warm environ for the winter. Replace the pump in the spring after cleaning the gunk out of the bottom of the pond.

Ha, Ha. Same problem here. I'm always collecting buckets and wheelbarrows of stagnant water full of mosquito larva from the yard... We are in Zone 7a.
FWIW,
Greg G.
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snipped-for-privacy@vt.edu wrote:

Hrm... You're probably right. The coldest night in recent memory was about 5, and I found it distressing to hear the weather radio drone "The temperature is 5 degrees. The record low today is 5 degrees, which was set in 2003." Or maybe it was 7 degrees. Anyway, I wasn't here. I was in Asheville, NC. Stuck halfway up a frozen hill. Couldn't go up, couldn't go down. I had to spend the night sleeping with my truck at a 50-degree angle. Bleah.
Anyway, it was a trifle warmer here that night, and I have no idea whether or not we set a record that day. I suppose not.

They're distressingly expensive, but moving water is a pleasant thing. That's where we do all our gardening now. I have all sorts of stuff planted around the thing, plus the water plants.

Yeah, the Hobby Shop. I miss the Hobby Shop. I used to walk down there when I was a kid. Loved the place. We bought a lot of fish for our indoor aquaria there too. Models, model rocket stuff, train stuff. It was getting pretty boring there at the end though. Probably a change in management or something.
I could use some free fish about now. All of mine are dead. Oops. All of my plants might be dead soon too. I screwed up. Water blows out of the pond on a continual basis because of the fountain spray thingie. The level was getting low, and my hose was frozen. I had this electrolysis bucket that had been sitting out through numerous rains and snows. Looked at it, and it seemed to be just plain water. I dumped it in there.
Went out this morning, and everything was covered in foam. There must have been some Oxy-Clean residue in the bucket, and it was enough to kill all the fish. At least, I didn't see any fish today. Not even after letting the hose flush the pond out for two hours.
Stupid.

Me neither.

The weather has been glorious this week. I haven't needed to worry about heat, and all it took was my spending $160 on a heater for the shop. ($90 heater, plus tank, plus plumbing...) Fine with me if I never have to use it.
Heck, I had to turn the FAN on a couple days ago, because it was up to 90 in the shop from all this glorious, glorious sun.
Which reminds me. If I can pay to heat this leaking mess, and if I can see an interior temperature of 90 in the middle of winter out there, I probably want to be thinking about running a new circuit and buying an air conditioner this year. Waste money like there's no tomorrow... Comfort is an addictive thing.
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