Maybe the pond will be done by Halloween

Big disappointment with our last pond build. Our local contractor might be well versed in concrete, but he’s not so good at Octaform panels. We have been very unhappy with his efforts and after a joint zoom conference, Octaform sent out a consultant to work with our contractor for a day. The Octaform consultant spent about eight hours with our concrete guy working on some fixes and talking through how the remainder of the pond could be fixed. Looking at the day’s efforts, it really wasn’t meeting our specs.

The whole idea of Octaform was creating an ultra smooth surface for our koi. We had ordered special black panels with a waterproof seal edge and there should be no need for nails, staples and caulking to put it together. After the consultants visit, Octaform came up with four options:

Option 1: Complete replacement panels for the interior. Standard flat in Black. Delivery late September.

Option 2: Complete replacement panels for the interior. Standard flat in White. Which also means we would need to find paint for these panels. Delivery late August.

Option 3: PT6 x 11, PT5JM x 12, PT5JF x 12, PT5.75 x 13, PT3 x 5 @ 72″ (Black with special seal). Delivery late September.

Option 4: PT6 x 11, PT5JM x 12, PT5JF x 12, PT5.75 x 13, PT3 x 5 @ 72″ (White with special seal, paint will be required). Delivery late August.

We went with Option 1. So now we will not have the waterproofing seal edge on the interior panels but the waterproof concrete will take care of that function. The plan is to dismantle what we have and start over in October. Big sad face but there’s really no quick solution.

Vegetable gardening has been with mixed results. I’ve been growing some bush beans, variety “Jade” and they’re on the flat side and stringy. I’m planning to rip them out and replant some Kentucky Blue beans which are always tastier. The cucumbers have done very well and my little garage refrigerator is filled with pickle jars. The tomatoes are coming in now but my Roma plants seem to have some calcium deficiency. The squash bugs have bested me on many of my winter squash plants and are now going after the zucchini. I have started another round of winter gourds with the hope that our growing season is is relatively long in North Carolina. We do have a few peaches that have survived deer and pests. I picked one that is almost ripe to finish ripening indoors. Next year I intend to do some more spraying, fertilizing, netting and companion plantings.

I wanted to start a cut flower garden this year and obviously we are in the middle of summer so my choices are limited. The pond builder tilled up a small area next to the vegetable garden for me to plant some sunflowers. I’m going to use the heavy weed block fabric because I’m very tired of weeding. I’ll be scheduling myself to look for dahlia tubers next January because all the cool varieties are out of stock by late March.

We moved our tea plants closer to the house. I don’t think they were very happy in their special spot – too many weeds, hedgehogs, difficult to water and not the right kind of dappled sunlight. This spot might be a little too sunny for them but I’m pretty sure they will do better.

Lots of animal activity on our fields. The other day a young coyote seemed to be chasing/stalking a deer. The picture below is a composite of photos taken about one minute apart. No real pattern on when we see the coyote – sometimes it’s an older coyote and sometimes it’s the young one. They are running around at all hours and even in the morning around 7:30a. The turkeys cross the fields regularly but not every day like last summer. I don’t see the mama turkey and her poults often but they turn up on the game cam and we’ve seen them in other parts of the farm.

Since we have nothing to do around the pond right now, we are continuing to improve OP Larry. We’re putting a rail around the edges and the pond builder will be making a permanent wood ladder for access. It’s a really nice place to sit even on the hottest day. We’re hoping that someone will be able to use it to pick off the coyotes…

The koi seem okay in their pool and they’ll just have to manage a few more months. I did a little video of them swimming around the other week. Good viewing for insomniacs…