EIPS Newsletter

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In This Issue: June 2008

Thursday, June 12th
7:00 pm
Jeff Garner & Kerry Shaner
1323 34th St SE
Cedar Rapids IA 52403

Speaker: Rich Patterson/Indian Creek Nature Center

Bring your lawn chairs.

Directions: Take Mt. Vernon Road east from 380 past Mercy Hospital. Continue on Mt Vernon Road to 34th St. Turn right (South) on 34th Street. South on 34th for half mile to 1323 34th St. House on right side of street with red door.

Saturday, June 28th
4:00 pm
Jeff Garner & Kerry Shaner
1323 34th St SE
Cedar Rapids, IA

Pre-Pond Tour

After a very short meeting, we will caravan to all the ponds on the tour spending 5 to 10 minutes at each pond. This mini tour allows pond owners and volunteers to have a chance to see all the ponds on the tour.

Thursday, May 8th

This month’s Thursday meeting was at the home of Karen and Dave Frieden from Swisher. We began by having Dave talk to us about his pond. Tucked behind the house on the side of a wooded, sloping ravine, Dave told us how they dug it, filled it back in, and then dug it back out a couple years later! Karen explained it was a grandchild thing. The surrounding gardens and timber were in bloom with both Karen’s plants and wild flowers. What a beautiful spring garden and pond.

Our speaker and club member, Becky Lynch gave us a great talk on “Landscape Designing with Ornamental Grasses.” Her power point presentation showed us some beautiful pictures of her own gardens and how she uses grasses to enhance her landscape. Everyone was circling or checking off “must have” grasses from the list she gave us. We want to thank her for the informative talk. It’s great to have such expertise in our own membership.

Our president, Monica, began the business section of the meeting, by asking for any committee updates. She mentioned a new business in Des Moines called Iowa Koi was having its open house on Saturday. The Bailey’s from Prairie Creek Nursery had donated a few nice door prizes for the meeting and wanted to invite us to revisit their updated web site:. www.prairiecreeknursery.com Also, mentioned was the weekend open house for In The Country Garden and Gifts shop in Independence. Monica reminded members when dividing their plants, please save them for the pond tour plant sale.

In new business, Monica told members about an up and coming field trip to Dry Creek Hostas on June 1st. She passed a sign up sheet.

After a short break for yummy treats, Dave began his 3-P’s (Plants, Products & Problems) open discussion time. I gave a demonstration on the use of Sodium Precarbonate and it’s affects on your ponds bottom muck. This is the very same ingredient found in many muck buster type chemicals we add to our ponds to get rid of algae. We talked a little about their safety and how they worked. I also, again, asked members to be sure to quarantine fish. We also talked about foamy water symptoms and what to do for them. UV lights and bulb replacement was also talked about.

When all questions had been satisfied, we drew for door prizes and the meeting was adjourned. I want to thank the Friedens for their hospitality and great treats!

Respectfully submitted….Jackie Allsup

From the President………...May 24th Meeting

With Memorial Day weekend here, we had 24 members attend the meeting at Carl & Chic Unkel’s home in Amana. As I have said before, our club members know how to put together a delicious potluck. There are always new dishes to sample each time we have a potluck. The Unkel’s pond was crystal clear with koi that were truly “Living Jewels”. After Carl talked about his pond. We had a short meeting. I handed out the sign-up sheets for the Pond Greeters. I encouraged members to volunteer for the full day, if they were available, otherwise the 1/2 shifts will be available. I then passed the sign-up sheet for the club road trip to Dry Creek Hosta’s so far we have 15 members. Member, Larry Thompson, spoke on many topic’s pertaining to koi from spawning, 12 warning signs of fish problems, to what to look for when you purchase your new fish. Larry also put together some great handouts for everyone. Then the highlight of the meeting took place. You might say it was a little contest. Larry handed out two pictures of koi labeled A and B and we decided which koi was of better markings. There was a lot of fun that came with some great conversation. Bob Hollenbeck had copies for everyone on how to make a Sand-Cast a Birdbath using rhubarb, gunnera or hosta leaves. “Sum and Substance” hosta work best. We did not have prizes for the meeting,, but I had some samples from Pond Depot that we gave away. They also sent me copies of “Pond Owner Handbook” which were given to club members. Check out their web www.ponddepot.com.

Many thanks to Carl & Chic and their daughter Kristen, for opening their beautiful home and hospitality to us. It was a delightful evening.

Meeting was then adjourned.

You will pick up packets from 6702 Spring Cove Court NE Cedar Rapids IA (Morley/Murillo home) the day before the tour. There are two shifts available 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm or if you can volunteer for both shifts it would be greatly appreciated. You will be in charge of taking admission and giving out wristbands, you may be putting the wristband on the purchaser. Greet the public as they arrive to your pond location. Smile….Smile….Smile…..Talk to them, we all share the same hobby. Be sure to make yourself available to the pond owners if they need any assistance. Inside the packet will be a sheet with all the information you will need. Please volunteer for the clubs biggest event of the year………….You will have a great time. What makes a club event successful is seeing the members pull together giving their time.

E-mail me at mespringcove@aol.com if you would like to volunteer. You chose the location you want to sit at.

It’s your club, help make this event successful……


By Josh Spece

Hosta ‘Praying Hands’

In most any plant family, there are often a few odd-balls in the bunch. Family members that you would never guess were related, just judging from their appearance. Hostas are no different and one of the most un-hosta looking hostas is ‘Praying Hands’.

Hosta ‘Praying Hands’ is a one-of-a-kind plant that is instantly recognizable. It has long, waxy, dark green leaves that have a narrow, wavy cream margin. The leaves are folded almost into a tube shape to give the appearance of “praying hands!” It forms a stiffly upright clump about 18 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Pale lavender flowers open in mid summer.

‘Praying Hands’ is unlike any hosta you’ve ever seen! Whether you love it or hate it, it is definitely an odd-ball.

Josh Spece is a long time member of EIPS.

It was a trip to “Fanasty Island” (DryCreek Hostas). As we walked thru the “Blue Shadows”, we came across “Angel Feathers” and “Alligator Shoes.” Along the brick path we met “Little Bo Peep” and “Alice in Wonderland.” We were tempted to open “Pandoras Box”, but instead we found a “Shinny Penny.” It was a “Sun Kissed” day and to “Sum it Up” it was an “Afternoon Delight.”

Maria Hamilton/co-editor

A nice day for a road trip, even with rain in the forecast. We arrived right at 9:00 am. We saw a very nice assortment of hostas and perennials to pick from. Maria Hamilton had her wish list on Hostas and Elena and myself (Monica) had fun looking at everything and choosing many beautiful plants that Josh and Sue had, to pick from. We are looking forward to going back in June when the water lilies will be available. Thanks Sue, Josh, Jacob and Jim for a fun morning.

June Birthdays

Erma Thompson - 24th

If you would like your birthday printed in the newsletter, email us at mespringcove@aol.com or sign in with the Hospitality Committee: Elena Murillo or Gil Morley.

by Jackie Allsup

The above 4 products are all used ef fectively to prevent the grow th of algae! Water gardeners the world over use these products. What do they have in common? They all break dow n to become forms of or contain H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide). As such, they ALL have the same precautionary problems. Just because something has a fancy “safe for all f ish and ponds” label, does not make them any less problematic. Hydrogen Peroxide in ALL forms is an oxidizer. This means there must be something in the pond, such as algae to consume the dose. The use of hydrogen peroxide in your pond can miraculously raise organics right off the bottom of your pond to f loat on the surface. As a result of this action, you must be pond side during the dose to skim of f the unwanted organics. You’ll see the algae, leaves, and even small sticks f loat to the top! As the hydrogen peroxide is consumed bubbles w ill rise to the surface along with the organics.

The above products are shown left to right according to their strength.

Barley Straw has been used in England for many years. Bales must be placed on the surface of the pond, preferable near a waterfall. Barley straw is as “green” as you can get, if you don’t like putting chemicals, per say, in your pond. It’s a “natural” enzyme. The above package treats 2000 gallons and cost 6.59 at one online outlet. It must actually begin to break dow n and decay before it releases its bacterial enzymes (a form of hydrogen peroxide) that begin to prevent algae grow th. High oxygen, moving water, and sun all help with its breakdown. Pros: Inexpensive and since it is very slow to break dow n, it can be the safest for fish. Cons: It can actually turn the water yellow or brown as the tannins from the straw enter the water. Barley extracts in pill and liquid form can also be found. Can take at least a month to become effective.

Hydrogen Peroxide -3% can be sprayed directly on the algae or added right to the ponds w ater. With a heavy dose of string algae, you can use up to 10 quarts or 3% hydrogen peroxide per 1000 gallons to kill the algae. But that dose w ill certainly kill f ish if there is nothing to consume the hydrogen peroxide. For a “relatively fish safe” dose, use 2 to 3 quarts of 3% HP per 1000 gallons. When the hydrogen peroxide stops bubbling w here it attacks the algae, it is nearly all gone, and another dose can be considered. Try one safe dose per day until the string algae is brought under the control level you desire for your pond. Again, 2 quarts can be too much if your pond is very clean. Pros: Stronger and faster than barley, can be hand sprayed directly on troubled spots like rocks and w aterfalls, inexpensive- $1.00 a bottle. Cons: Takes multiple bott less for dosing.

Green Clean and other Oxy products all are nothing more than 50% strength of powered sodium percarbonate. Noticeable results can be seen in as little as 24-48 hours. It’s a potent oxidizer that should not be used in shallow areas at the same time amphibians are breeding. Non target plants will suffer contact burn if undiluted granules are accidentally spilled on them. Green Clean is 50% Sodium Carbonate Peroxyhydrate and 50% “other things”????? Alw ays be wary of “other things”. Use 1 cup for every 1000 gallons w hen algae is present, less on a clean pond for maintenance. A 2 pound container (4 cups) can cost 25.00 on line. Pros: Very ef fective on both string and green water. Can also be used to clean non painted surfaces. Cons: The most expensive of all.

Sodium Percarbonate is a white free flow ing granular chemical. It provides powerful cleaning, bleaching, stain removal capabilities- yet its environmentally compatible. It will break down into water, oxygen, and soda ash. Sodium percarbonate is the most ef fective chemical means to kill string algae. This is the SAME active ingredient found in Green Clean only not diluted w ith ”other stuff”! This makes it twice as strong. As with all hydrogen peroxide based products, it can and will kill fish if it is overdosed in a Sodium Percarbonate Powder CLEAN pond. This form can be purchased on line for $4.50 for a 2 lb. jar. Despite the oxidizing properties of all these products, w hen used correctly they all w ork very well. They w ill not hurt your biof ilters. Their use does usually drive pond pH up, and that w on’t hurt the f ish unless there is a significant ammonia level. Each pound per 1000 gal will generate 70 ppm of total alkalinity of KH.

Knowledge is invaluable when you have fish in your ponds. I’ve recently been experimenting with the use of SP in my ponds, with very good results. How ever, I use very small doses on only small portions of my pond at a time. That way, I hope to make as litt le of impact on my w ater quality as possible. I do not do whole pond doses. Remember your f ish eat, breath, and live in the w ater you provide. Learn to keep the w ater and your f ish w ill stay healthy. If you have any questions, please call and if I can’t answer them, we’ll research it and figure it out together.

FYI – Check your other algaecides, if they contain Poly (oxyethylene) (dimethylimino) ethylene (dimethylimino) ethylene dichloride aka Algae Fix. The suggested dosing of this product is 30 times the rate that can kill your f ish. Be very, very careful using this “safe for f ish” product. (wink, wink)

And we all know anything with copper in it can be harmful if not used properly. Don’t just read your labels, research them on line.

Festive Moon Light Pond Evening

Time and date to be determined

Enchanted evening visiting 2 to 3 ponds More details coming...

Any questions send an e-mail to Monica mespringcove@aol.com

Fertilizer packets are available. This is a great value at 25 cents each. Contact member, Larry and Rita Tharp 396-3293.

Happy 25th Wedding Anniversary In May to Larry and Erma Thompson

Artist Reception
Friday, June 6, 2008
5:00 Pm to 8:00 PM
Gallery Walk

Douglas & Linda Paul Gallery at The Englert Theatre Downtown Iowa City

Watercolor by Janice S.K. Bell

Details for the 2008 Pond Tour have been posted HERE!

from Pat Bueter

Grape Salad

1 1/2—2 lbs green grapes
1 1/2—2 lbs. red grapes
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
8 oz. Sour Cream
1/2 cup White Sugar

Wash grapes. Mix Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, & white sugar, then add grapes. Put in 9” x 13” glass pan.. Mix brown sugar & pecans/walnuts and sprinkle on top.

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

All locations and topics are subject to change. Read your monthly newsletter for details and updates.

Times determined by the Host/Hostess

Programs will be updated as available along with the times of the meetings.

June 12th - Jeff Garner & Kerry Shaner 6:30pm
Rich Patterson/Indian Creek Nature Center 7:00

June 28th - Pre Pond Tour

July 13th - Pond Tour

July 26th - Roberta & Robert Ward
Photo Contest

August 14th - Jo & Gary Hunerdosse 7:00pm

August 23rd - Hugh & Kathi Albrecht 7:00pm

August 30th - Social Picnic Event/Noelridge Park Pavillion
Jamie Beyer 5:00 pm

September 11th - TBD

September 27th - Bob & Deb Kontz
Jamie Beyer

October 25th - Herman & Rosie Michel
Jim Durbin/ Bird Feeding

TBD Recognition Night

EIPS Newsletter Archives