Saturday, June 12, 2010

pH Pain & Blissfully Pink

Our new 'Steven Strawn' hardy water lily (Kirk Strawn, 1999)

What Gives, Pond?
The pond's pH problem is turning out to be more intransigent than I had expected. After discovering that the pH was 9.0, I went to one of our local pond shops and bought 3 bottles of Kent brand pH reducer. The pond folks said that 1 bottle should reduce the alkalinity of a pond our size by 1 whole point. I was to add 1 whole bottle, wait 24 hours, and re-test the water, repeating until we got down to around 7.

Well, I've used all three bottles of acid, and the pH is still 9.0. I started to wonder if maybe our pH kit was deranged just read everything at 9.0, so I tested our tap water: 8.0.

So somehow our pond is intensifying the alkalinity of the water that is added to it, possibly above 9.0 (since three bottles of acid failed to mellow the reading at all). Go figure. We haven't used any mortar yet, nor any easy cheese foam-in-a-can, and Dad says our rocks are sandstone, so I really have no idea what could be causing the problem.

I'm kind of out of patience with it. I don't want to get involved in some constant battle with the pond's own natural inclinations, having to buy and apply untold gallons of caustic chemicals and monitoring daily. That's not the point of Lake Laissez-Faire at all.

The folks at pond store #2 recommended dropping some pantyhose filled with peat in, as a gentler and more long-term solution. I'll give that a try, move the Sagittaria deeper into the shade, which may take some of the pressure off of it, and call it a done deal. As long as the fish don't go belly-up, I'm not going to spend a lot more energy on this one. If the pond is just determined to be alkaline, well, so be it.

Because There Were 6 Square Inches of Unoccupied Space

Meanwhile, my multiple trips to the pond store exposed me to this exceedingly and entrancingly lovely water lily, 'Steven Strawn.' I'm generally not wild about the color pink, but this combination of shades is awesome. Long story short: here it is, settling nicely into our pond, alkalinity notwithstanding.

Our first bloom of 'Steven Strawn'

Interestingly, 'Steven Strawn' is from the same breeder as one of our other lilies, 'Colorado' (Kirk Strawn,1994).

...and here it is again. It's a really pretty flower.

I think I've pretty much exhausted our lilyspace, though. We may actually be approaching that ideal 50-70% coverage.

In the front, maybe 'Queen of Siam,' 'Colorado' in the middle, and 'Steven Strawn' back behind the fountain

'Colorado' had a particularly nice bloom on it, as well.


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails