Carter’s Garden Blog


Several Of My Koi Have Disappeared… What’s Getting My Koi? | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

The ponds are bare of any Aquatic Plants this time of the season. Open to the sky… And, sometimes, open to a predator attack! I spoke to a lady yesterday that said some of her fish have just disappeared… Where or What could have gotten them?

Many times when you have fish disappear from your pond, it’s this guy! The sneaky, bold, Great Blue Heron…

I told her several things could have happened (raccoons, cats, birds, etc) and we talked for a little while about her pond and her fish. Sure enough, she had seen a “Large Bird’ messing around her backyard lately… Boom, say hello to Mr. Heron.

Decoys can really help to detour Pond Predators! We sell these at Carters Nursery in Jackson, TN

We didn’t install her Pond originally so we didn’t get to discuss things like “Pond Predators” with her before. So I gave her the run down on things she needed to do to keep them at bay. You normally don’t have problems with Pond Predators if you design to prevent them in the beginning. Here are a few things that can help –

A koi castle is an easy to install protector for you pond fish. It will provide them cover from Pond Predators! We stock these at Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

Wait, there’s more…

Even fun decoys like this alligator can help to keep Pond Predators at bay! They also look cool 🙂 We sell these at Carters Nursery in Jackson, TN

And don’t forget –

A scarecrow really works to run off Pond Predators like Heron, raccoons, unwanted pets, etc. We sell these at Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio in Jackson, TN. Call for info at 731-424-2206

Even Leaf Netting can keep seasonal predators at bay. But the ultimate predator protection is to have a built in “Koi Cave” in your pond. They blend with the surroundings and provide safety for your ‘finned friends’ 😊 The really good news is – a Koi Cave can be added to your Pond! The perfect time to add a Koi Cave is during a Spring Pond Clean out! And it’s almost cleanout time in Tennessee! 💥 Give me a call to discuss putting a Koi Cave in Your Pond.

A built in Koi Cave is functional & looks Awesome!

We Love our pets and we want to protect them! I hope this little bit of info has helped. If you have more questions feel free to call me – 731-424-2206 is my office number.

Thanks! Spring is Coming!

 

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com

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Pond Tip : Leaf Netting Is Your Friend | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

Will a leaf net help with fall Pond Maintenance?

Great question! The answer is – YES!
Pond Netting is your friend! The main reason to net your Water Feature in the Fall is to help with leaf and debris control. All the Ponds that I personally design and install have a skimmer system (mechanical Filter) that already removes an incredible amount of leaf debris. You simply empty that skimmer basket from time to time and have little to no leaf or debris problems. BUT, if you have a lot of trees in your Landscape as well,  a Fall Leaf 🍁 Net may be in order. Depending on your leaf debris load, a skimmer might still need the help of a simple leaf net to keep up during peak leaf fall…

Pond Netting is a great tool to help keep the maintenance of your Water Garden or Koi Pond down to a minimum over the fall and winter. | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

Pond netting is inexpensive and we cut it to fit!

We stock bulk pond netting at Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio in Jackson, TN | It will keep debris out of your pond & help protect your fish from predators during the cold, bare months.

HOW do you install Pond Netting?

You simply pull the net over the Pond’s surface and secure it along the edges. Some ponds will allow for a tight stretched net over the surface but some times we install risers to make a “Tent” effect of the net. This helps shed the leaf debris to the edges to make it easier to dispose of them.

You can use risers and bows fashioned from PVC pipe to make a frame for your Pond Netting that will stand up to the elements. Easy to erect and easy to tear down too. | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

Keeping the leaves and other fall debris out of your Pond is a good thing! Leaf debris is unsightly, it also quickly starts to decompose releasing many compounds that are bad for your fish. In turn algae is fed by the decomposing leaf matter and oxygen is depleted. ALL of these things combined can be catastrophic for the health of your finned friends, in heavy leaf fall areas, it can even kill them.

ALSO – in the Fall and Winter most of the aquatic plants are asleep, leaving very little cover for your Koi… Pond Predators, like Blue Herons strike most often in the Fall and Winter… BUT, Blue Herons can’t get your treasured Koi through the Pond Netting! So that’s another big plus for having a Pond Net!

A Blue Heron is major Predator of our Koi and pond fish! BUT, we can stop them from harming our ‘finned friends’! Tools like a Fall leaf net can help with more than 1 task 😊

So to wrap this up – IF you have a LOT of trees in your landscape that shed leaves in the Fall, a Leaf Net might be for YOU! AND – if you have Koi that you love and want to protect from predators, leaf netting could help you too.

FYI: You can get leaf netting for your pond at Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio! We always keep 10′ and 20′ widths in stock, we cut to order and it’s very inexpensive. Questions? Call me at 731-424-2206

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd. 
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206
www.cartercountry.com


WHAT is a Fish Cave & WHY do I need one? | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

I recently did a blog titled – HOW TO DEAL WITH PREDATORS IN KOI PONDS where I covered several ways to combat Pond Predators – Like Blue Heron, Egrets, Raccoons, etc.

It was a very popular Blog! And it lead to several calls & conversations about this subject. The #1 question I discussed was ‘How-To’ make a Fish Cave aka; a KOI CAVE. So lets revisit this subject for a moment.

A  “Fish Cave or Koi Cave” is usually pre-designed and is normally part of the initial install of the Pond. It entails building a ledge or cave within the stone work of the pond walls to give the fish a place to hide from predators or to get out of hot sunlight for a while. Now if you already have a pond and want a fish cave – it’s really not a big problem! A fish cave is a common addition during your yearly Pond Clean-out. We add these quite often, so if your thinking you want to add a fish cave, it’s not a big deal.

This is an example of a “Koi Cave” that was pre-designed and built into the stone work. Beautiful as well as functional. | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

For those that don’t want to go all the way with a Fish/Koi Cave, there is an easy add-on product that you can purchase and simply submerge in your Pond. It’s called a “Koi Castle”.

A Koi Castle is an easy to install protector for you pond fish. It will provide them cover from Pond Predators! We stock these at Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

I think that pretty much covers what a Koi Cave is. Some are very elaborate and some are simply a big ledge rock but they all provide cover and protection for your ‘finned friends’! You are welcome to come by the nursery during business hours to see both of these products in action. We actually have Fish Caves in one of our display ponds as well as Koi Castles in 2 of our displays. They both work very well and have protected our fish for years.

Happy Pondering!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com



How long will my Koi live? | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

Question : How long will my Koi live?

This is an interesting question for sure! There is so much talk about ancient Koi out there… Koi have been reported to live to ages from 100 to 200 years old… In fact, a famous Japanese Koi named ‘Hanako’ was owned by a man named Dr. Komei Koshihara. In 1974 they performed a growth ring study on one of Hanako’s scales and found that he was 225 years old! WOW! 

here are some of my Koi. The Big Sanke in the middle of the pack – right below the Koi with the yellow ‘Ki’ head) is named Jaws 🙂 I got him when he was 15 years old. He lived another 15 years in my Pond and died at the age of 30 or so. A Koi breeder told me thats probably a good average age for a domestic Koi in a backyard Water Garden.

So does that mean my Koi will live to be 200 years old? I suppose it’s possible, but the age & health of your Koi depends on several factors! #1 would be the size of their environment (the bigger the better)  #2 great water quality and #3 – good nutrition & care. Many, many Koi have been know to live to over 100 years old in a well kept Pond environment. In Japan & China it is common for families to actually put their Koi in their wills, leaving them to family members. Pretty cool!

Proper nutrition is huge! We look forward to feeding our Koi everyday. Once the fish get used to you & your contact they will come right to you and eat from your hand.

Just like our other pets, Koi need a good place to live (Well filtered Pond with adequate space/area), good food (nutrition plays a BIG part in our health as well as our animals), and our companionship (they don’t call it animal husbandry for nothing ;). If you stay on top of these things and offer protection from predators that might try to harm them, Koi will live for many years and bring us LOTS of joy 🙂

 

Happy Pondering!

 

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com



When can I start feeding my Koi | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN
February 10, 2018, 12:07 pm
Filed under: Koi, Outdoor Lifestyles, water garden | Tags: , , , ,

Speaking of Spring fever 🤒A friend today told me that his Koi are super active! “They are hungry too! Begging for food in fact… “When can I start feeding them”? I said – don’t you ask me that question every year? 😊

So here’s the deal – it’s all about water temperature. They are definitely waking up & moving more now, but – what’s the water temp?

Every Pond should have a floating Pond thermometer. Our finned friends are cold blooded & water temperature is very important when it comes to seasonal feeding times.

General rule of thumb to be safe is 55 degrees. If you want to extend the Fall feeding a little longer – to 50 degrees on the cutoff temp, use a cool temp Koi food to extend the season.

I always say to start in Spring with a cool temp food and some fruits and veggies thrown in too – oranges, grapefruit, lettuce, sweet peas, soft Carrots, etc..  As the water warms up transition to a quality Koi food for growth &/or color enhancing Koi food. Then I alternate between weeks from Growth to Color Enhancing Koi food & I feed veggies & fruit as special snacks. In Summer they LOVE watermelon 😊

We love to feed our Koi by hand. Once the fish get used to your contact they will come right to you every time 😊

If you don’t already have one, get a Floating Pond Thermometer & Keep an eye on that water temp & be ready! Spring is Coming!

Happy Pondering!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com



How to deal with Predators in Koi Ponds | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN
January 18, 2018, 12:23 pm
Filed under: Outdoor Lifestyles, water garden | Tags: , , ,

Have you ever looked out the window and seen a Blue Heron in your Water Garden? OH NO, my Koi! Or have you ever seen a dog, cat or raccoon harassing you Koi? You go out there and run them off… But, what happens when your gone and trouble comes knocking? What can I do to Protect my fishy friends?

A Blue Heron is major Predator of our Koi and pond fish! BUT, we can stop them from harming our ‘finned friends’.

The good news is most pond hobbyists will never have to deal with predators! BUT, IF you are attacked by a “Pond Predator”, there are things you can do to help!

#1 is a Fish Cave! This usually starts with the initial install of the Pond, building a ledge or cave within the stone work of the pond walls. If you already have a pond and want a fish cave – No Problem! A fish cave is an easy addition during your yearly cleanout.

If you want to do something right NOW, you can come by Carters Nursery & grab a ‘Koi Castle’ and install in about 1 minute 🙂

A koi castle is an easy to install protector for you pond fish. It will provide them cover from Pond Predators!

Another inexpensive way to protect your Koi is to use a motion-activated water sprayer system like a Scarecrow. A ‘Scarecrow’  will hit those heron with a timely jet spray of water. They are VERY effective! But can only be used when the temp’s are above freezing.

A scarecrow really works to run off Pond Predators like Heron, raccoons, unwanted pets, etc. We sell these at Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio in Jackson, TN. Call for info at 731-424-2206

 

You can also use a Heron or Alligator Decoy. I have sold hundreds of these and most say they work well.  They also look very attractive by the pond!

Alligator decoys look cool and can help keep Pond Predators at bay.
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

Heron Decoys can really help to detour Pond Predators! They also look cool 🙂 We sell these at Carters Nursery in Jackson, TN

If your having problems with Pond Predators, I hope this article will help you! It’s an awful feeling to loose a Koi like this. The good thing is, with a little pre-planning and preparation you can almost assure that you and your fish will survive an encounter with a ‘Pond Predator’.

Happy Pondering!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206
www.cartercountry.com