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Gardening & More: Check out available nets for ponds and shrubs, this autumn

BLUE HERON NET — During the fall, a net can keep leaves out of your pond. In the spring, a net, like the one pictured above, can prevent blue heron from eating the fish in your pond. Nets can also be used to keep deer from eating your shrubbery. PondNets.com manufactures nets locally and can custom-make nets for your yard. Photo provided by PondNets.com.
ORCHARD PARK — Because so much of our manufacturing has moved to other countries, it is refreshing to hear that a local company makes products, here in Western New York. Those products can help you in your garden, right now.

PondNets.com makes nets that keep leaves out of your pond and netting to protect your shrubs from hungry deer. You’ll want to get those nets in place, soon.

Come spring, you may also need blue heron netting to keep your fish safe.

In addition to making standard-sized netting, PondNets.com can custom-make covers for ponds, grills, fire pits, sand boxes, hot tubs, dog runs, dining tables and heat poles, as well as privacy barriers and truck tarps.

The company’s office is located in Orchard Park. Manufacturing is done in downtown Buffalo by five contracted employees.

Leaf nets for ponds

“As most pond owners know, a pond is a magnet for leaves,” said Kevin Wintringer, president of PondNets.com. “Leaves just blow in. Every pond should have some type of protection from debris.”

A good, quality net will keep leaves and twigs out of the water, saving you hours of time, during spring cleanup.

A leaf net will also help your water quality. Leaves lying on the bottom of the pond over the winter decay, causing dirty, cloudy water. By preventing the leaves from getting into the pond in the first place, you’ll start out with better-quality water in the spring.

The best time to close your pond and install the leaf net is before the majority of the leaves fall into the water. Some leaves fell early this year, because trees were stressed by the summer’s dry weather. Most of the leaves are still on the trees.

You can continue to run your filters with a leaf net in place. Wintringer said h e runs his filter until the end of November.

You can also run a waterfall through the cold weather with a leaf net in place, but monitor it carefully. If you get an ice dam, it could divert water out of your pond.

The nets from PondNets.com have a sewn edge with brass grommets every 2 feet, so you can use stakes and bungee ties to position the net securely in place.

In the spring, take the net off when you are ready to start your pond back up. Hose off the net with soapy water, rinse it with clear water, let it dry, fold it up and store it for the summer.

Leaf nets come in a variety of sizes to cover streams, as well as ponds. Order them directly from PondNets.com.

The local company also makes nets to order, so call, to obtain a net in a special size or shape. A custom net can usually be sewn within five days.

Deer netting

Those of you who have problems with deer know that physical barriers such as fences and netting are important to use during the winter. Many sprays don’t work, when the temperature drops below 40 degrees.

Get deer netting up before it snows, because when there’s snow cover, the deer start looking for easy food sources. Arborvitaes are a favorite of deer.

Deer netting from PondNets.com comes 5 feet high and 50 feet long, so you can wrap a whole line of shrubs. If you have shrubs in different locations, you can easily cut the netting with scissors and secure it with plastic zip ties, which are included.

Blue heron netting

Many people have problems with blue herons’ eating the fish in their ponds.

This is especially an issue in spring, because pond plants aren’t mature and large yet, so the fish don’t have a place to hide. Herons fly over, see the fish and swoop in for a tasty snack.

A blue heron net will protect your fish. The nets come in 1-inch and 2-inch mesh.

If your pond has deep edges, herons may want to wade into the water to catch the fish. The 2-inch mesh prevents the birds from walking into the pond.

If your pond has shallower edges, the heron could stand at the side of your pond and scoop out your fish. The 1-inch mesh is better, because the heron can’t poke its head through.

The netting is almost invisible, so it does not detract from your pond’s beauty. Once your plants have matured and your fish have places to hide, remove the net.

Take steps now to prepare your pond and garden for winter with help from a local manufacturer.

Connie Oswald Stofko is publisher of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email Connie@BuffaloNiagaraGardening.com.
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