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Garden Ponds – Fun & Easy Way To Have A Water Garden

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You can have a beautiful garden pond in your yard with a few easy steps.

Constructing a Garden Pond:

This is where the fun starts! You are now ready to start the building of your pond. Before actually starting, here are some tips you should consider:

  • Take a step back, take your time, and think it through.

Choosing your site

This is an important step in the process and should not be rushed. Consider these points:

  • * Sunlight – Your garden pond will need approximately 5 hours of sunlight per day.
  • * Vantage Point – You will want to be able to view your garden pond from a particular window or other place at your home. Pick that spot ahead of time.
  • * Avoid low lying and water logged areas. This can cause your pond to be unstable and if a rainy period occurs your garden pond may end up under water.
  • * The shade from trees
  • * Shade from structures like you home
  • * Leaves may also fall into your garden pond
  • * Invasive tree roots may tear up your work.
  • * Prevailing winds should be considered because they might affect your plants or fish. Consider positioning your garden pond where winds are minimized.

* ACCESS – Think about how easy it is to get to your garden pond to do things like run electrical cords to run the pump. You will also need to get other supplies to this area such as cleaning / care equipment and lawn care items for weeding & trimming.

Garden Ponds   Fun & Easy Way To Have A Water Garden

Types of Garden Ponds:

You have all shapes and sizes as well as various materials the base liner is made of. It could even be as simple as a plastic liner laid out over a free-form pond you have hand dug to match a personal design taste. Most ponds are pre-formed out of some material like fiberglass.

Depth & Angle:

If you are constructing a free-form pond, the depth and angle of the sides are not pre-set as with pre-formed ponds. In this case think in terms of a garden pond that is approximately 2 feet deep depending upon your climate. An exception for a deeper pond might be in areas where winter freezes are harsh. In these climates you may go a lot deeper if you intend on leaving your fish in throughout the winter.

In normal soil the angle of the sides should slope at about 20 degrees to prevent the sides from caving in. If your soil is extra sandy you need to consider a pre-formed garden pond because this will cause you problems. Another note on the angle is to make sure your garden pond is as level as possible. If you don’t the pond water level will not look right.

Adding Fish to your Garden Pond:

Many people like to add fish to their garden ponds because they are interesting, fun, and pretty to look at. The two primary types of fish usually added to a garden pond are goldfish and koi. Goldfish are inexpensive, easy to get, and grow to be much smaller than koi. Koi are more expensive, more specialized, and grow to be much larger than goldfish.

How many Fish per Garden Pond:

Think ahead when choosing your fish. A 2 inch goldfish could end up growing to be 9-10 inches long in a couple of years. A similar Koi could end up being 20+ inches in the same period of time.

Why is this important? Fish need space to live and thrive. They produce solid waste and ammonia which will definitely affect the quality of the water and in turn the health of your fish. In planning ahead, you’ll want to factor 1 inch of fish for each 5 gallons of water for goldfish. With koi you may want to make it 1 inch of fish for each 2-3 gallons of water because they grow so fast.

OXYGEN:

Oxygenated water is mandatory for healthy fish. Provide some type of aeration device which could include a waterfall or fountain of some type.

Adding Aquatic Plants to your Garden Pond:

You will most likely be adding plants both around the outside of your garden pond as well as in your pond. The focus of this section is on the aquatic plants you’ll be adding into your garden pond.

Just as with your regular flower gardens, the first thing you’ll consider is the growing zone you live in. Choose aquatic plants that are adapted to your local climate.

Types of Aquatic Plants & Flowers:

Lilies:

Lilies are the most popular for garden ponds. They are really neat looking, provide shade and cover for the fish, and produce beautiful flowers.

There are both hardy lilies as well as tropical lilies. That is good news because it means there is a lily for every garden pond no matter what part of the country you live.

Hardy Lilies:

These can be placed in most ponds and in most regions. They can withstand the extreme temperatures (especially cold) that tropical lilies cannot. Note: Hardy lilies do not like flowing water so keep them away from fountains and waterfalls.

Tropical Lilies:

Although not as resilient as hardy lilies, tropical lilies have a larger variety of colors and more dramatic as well. Tropical lilies come in 2 types… Day lilies and night lilies. You could plan your garden pond so that the lilies are in bloom both day and night. Note: Tropical lilies need the water temperature to be approximately 65 degrees F. or greater for best results.

Underwater / Submerged Aquatic Plants:

These aquatic garden plants are submerged into the water and act as oxygenation for your garden pond. They also provide a good place for your fish to hide, as a food source, and as a place to spawn. Some examples of submerged aquatic plants are: anacharis, hornwort, and cabomba.

Floating Aquatic Plants:

Many people think water lilies are floating plants because they only see the top parts on the water. In fact, lilies anchor themselves to the bottom of the garden pond. Floating aquatic plants on the other hand, float freely in the water. The roots hand suspended in mid-water rather than anchoring themselves to the bottom.

Some examples of floating aquatic plants are chestnut, water lettuce, water hyacinth, and duckweed. Note: Most of the floating aquatic plants are not frost resistant and will need to be replaced each year.