Summer Heat is Great for Water Gardening
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Area nurseries and lumber yards have begun to stock up on water gardening supplies making it simple and inexpensive to add these attractive features to any landscape. A water garden can be as simple or complex as you would like to make it.
If you’d like to start out slow and simple, I would suggest trying a tub or container garden. You can purchase a plastic or ceramic container especially designed for a water garden or you can get a plastic liner and line a container like a half whiskey barrel. Place the container in a sunny location on the deck or patio and fill it with water. The size of a container will determine the number and type of plants you grow. Generally the water plants will already be in a container with soil and gravel and can just be submerged into its new home. Place a few mosquito fish, guppies or mollies in the tub to help control the mosquito larvae and other aquatic insects and you are set.
For large water gardens and creeks or falls the use of a plastic pond liner is great. Pond liners are economical and conform to almost any shape. The new materials now available will last for years and are very puncture and tear resistant.
First, find a good, sunny location for your new water garden. Dig the hole to match the depth, size and shape of the pond you want. The depth should be at least 12 to 18 inches. If you plan to grow waterlillies the pond should be deep enough so there is at least six to eight inches of water over the top of the plant.
Water plants will help keep the pond clean and free from toxins. Submerged plants such as cabomba, milfoil or anacharis are excellent filters and provide food and hiding places for the fish. Floating weeds such as water lettuce, duckweed and a few others, float on the surface, their roots extend into the water and act like a natural filter. Bog plants such as cattail, pickerel rush, arrowhead, umbrella palm, papyrus, horsetail and many others can be planted in containers and submerged in the pond. If the pond is too deep, place the container on a brick or two to get the container to the correct depth.
The area garden centers and lumber yards have fertilizer tables specially designed for water gardens. These slow release products will provide two to three months worth of fertility for the water plants.
There are numerous books on the market to help you with your water garden. They will help answer any questions you may have, give your ideas on design and discuss possible problems and what to do about them. There is an excellent source for information on water gardening at the Aggie Horticulture website that you may what to check out entitled “Water Gardening in Texas” at: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homelandscape/watergarden/index.html
Don’t forget to send your garden questions to Plant Answers at 9020 FM 1484, Conroe TX 77303 or e-mail me at email@example.com .
Educational programs of Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, sex, disability, age or national origin.
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