plant use water garden
Water Garden, How To:
A large water garden, while incredibly rewarding, involves an investment of time and money. So, either do your homework, or, consult a professional. This article provides you with water gardening basics, just to get you started. Click here if you are interested in "Container Water Gardening".
Where to place the pond:
- Place your pond where you can enjoy it!
- Choose a location that receives 6 hours of sun daily
- Area must have access to power and water
- Select a level site
- Avoid low spots
- Steer clear of areas that accumulate run-off
Equipment required: liner, under liner, skimmer, pump, flexible PVC hose, biological waterfall filter, gravel and rocks
- Liner - today, most water gardens are formed out of preformed liners made from heavy duty plastic. They can also be lined with a flexible, cut to fit, liner made of PVC or EDPM rubber. Preformed liners are quick and easy to install, whereas, the flexible liner offers greater flexibility.
- Under liner - used to protect the primary liner from being damaged by rocks or other sharp objects
- Skimmer – removes floating debris
- Biological Waterfall Filter/Box - helps to filter waste and toxins from the water
- Flexible PVC Hose - carries water from the skimmer to the biological waterfall filter/box
- Pump – helps to move the water through the filter
- Gravel and Rocks – used to hold pond liner and plants, attract amphibious wildlife, and provide an aesthetic background
Include a stone shelf, plant shelf and a header pond in your water garden.
- Stone Shelf – a ledge around the rim of the pond that provides a surface for rocks that will hold the liner in place
- Plant Shelf – another ledge that sits below the stone shelf and is used for plant placement
- Header Pool – a small area for water to accumulate, after being recirculated by the water pump, prior to spilling over a waterfall. Though not necessary, the header pool creates a more natural flow as water tumbles over the waterfall.
In colder regions, a depth of 36 inches is required to ensure the pond does not freeze solid during the winter.
There are four categories of water plants:
- Rooted Floating Plants – or deep water plants, have roots at the bottom of the pond (or in a container, at the bottom of the pond), with their leaves stretching up to the water’s surface. Leaves of the rooted floating plant shade the surface, limiting the growth of algae and providing shade for fish. Examples of rooted floating plants: water lilies, lotus, water poppy, nardoo, water hawthorne, golden club.
- Marginal Plants – grow in the shallow margins, around the edge of the pond. They serve two major functions: decorative and as a barrier at the water’s edge, providing protection to fish and frogs. Examples of marginal plants: arrowhead, cattail, water plantain, water iris, yellow flag, lizard’s tail, horsetail fern, dwarf papyrus, aquatic mint, pickerel rush, vietnamese mint.
- Submerged/Oxygenating Plants – submerged plants grow their roots in the soil, but their leaves stay below the surface of the water. They produce oxygen, keeping the pond water clear and healthy. Examples of oxygenating plants: water milfoil, water primrose, Canadian pondweed, hornwort.
- Floating Plants – as the name suggests, these plants float on the water’s surface. They get their nutrients from the water, helping to control algae. Examples of floating plants: water lettuce, water hyacinth, duckweed, fairy moss.
To produce a water garden that is in “perfect balance”, you will need to include the following types of plants for approximately every 10 square feet of pond surface:
- 3 - oxygenating plants
- 2 - marginal plants
- 1 - rooted floating plant
As mentioned above, to ensure a well-constructed and healthy water garden, consult a professional.
Once you have your water garden well established, I promise that you will love it, and so will the native wildlife!