Building a pond is one of the most popular gardening projects today, and for good reason. Peacefully pleasing to both eyes and ears, the natural beauty of a pond provides a calming effect that’s especially welcome in these times of stressful living.
Whether you’re just thinking about adding a pond or have already taken the plunge, this article covers the basics of water garden supply, and what it takes to be successful.
Adding a pond to your backyard
You can hire a landscaping company to build your garden pond, which usually takes them less than a day. However, if you’re the least bit handy, a pond is a simple backyard project that shouldn’t take long at all.
The easiest, most convenient way to buy all your water garden supply is to shop online. There are dozens of websites devoted to providing gardeners with the products they need, and many specialize in water garden supply. Even better, free shipping is quite common, so it makes little sense to drive all over town for supplies when you can order everything online, and have it delivered to your backyard. Some sites even offer instructions for building the pond.
An innovative way to control algae growth
Algae is probably the biggest challenge water gardeners encounter. A little is necessary for a healthy ecosystem, but too much makes the water murky and unattractive. Some people use filters but they don’t always work properly, and present their own challenges. Thankfully, there’s a natural, highly effective product that works wonders to keep your pond clear-barley straw! It’s safe for fish, pets and plants, and is available three ways: as a handy big ball, in strips for large ponds or as pads in a flotation frame for small ponds. It clears up algae quickly, and keeps the water fresh all summer long.
Another natural, non-toxic treatment for cloudy water is to release packets of beneficial bacteria and enzymes into the pond by placing them in dispensers disguised as ducks or plants.
If pesky mosquitos plaque your water garden, get some Mosquito Control Rings. These are slow-release floating “donuts” that contain a naturally occurring bacterium which kills the larva but is safe for aquatic life.
Fish bring movement into your pond
They’re also fun to watch, and help the ecosystem by eating mosquito larvae and plant pests, and fertilizing plants. For new ponds, give plants a month to get established before adding fish.
Hardy little goldfish called comets are the easiest to keep, especially in smaller ponds. They cause little damage to other fish or plants, and if they survive their first week outdoors they’ll likely live for several years, provided the water doesn’t freeze solid in winter. Koi are popular pond fish but they’re more active and need a larger space. They’re also more aggressive towards smaller fish, and like to graze on plants and uproot submerged pots.
Plants are a pond necessity
Aquatic plants are one of the most enjoyable and visually appealing aspects of ponds. However, the key to creating a thriving ecosystem is a proper balance of all four types of water plants (free floaters, rooted floaters, submerged plants and bog plants).
Free Floaters such as clover and water hyacinth protect baby fish, cool the pond and control algae growth by shading the water from direct sunlight.
Rooted floaters like water lillies and lotus will cover the surface of the water and limit the amount of light reaching the depths of the pond, which inhibits algae growth.
Submerged plants (“water weeds”) create oxygen, provide fish with food, and absorb excess nutrients that can cloud the water.
Bog plants include cattail, iris and bamboo. They grow in mud or shallow water, and need to sit in containers just below the water line.
Decorative touches personalize your pond
No article on water garden supply would be complete without a brief mention of some of the delightful products that make your pond unique. Popular choices are lifelike sculptures of turtles, frogs, gnomes, cherubs, and majestic birds like blue herons and swans.
Fountains add the immeasurable beauty of moving water to your pond and come in many different designs, from small bubble jets to shooting sprays. Pre-formed waterfall molds are another option for adding movement to your pond, and are relatively easy to install. Birdbaths are lovely additions to any garden, and come in sizes and styles to fit every budget.
Enjoy your beautiful pond!