Pond gains greenery

If you've been following along for a while, you'll remember that last fall I built a pond -- if "built" is the right word. Dug. Put in. Whatever -- I now have a pond. I mentioned this several times this winter, and said more than once that I can't wait until I get the plants in.


Well, guess what happened last week?

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I'll give you a hint:


That's right, I bought some water plants! (and some aquatic plant food)


I already had loads of plants to put around the edges of the pond, but didn't have any of the aquatic plants necessary to balance things out: submerged oxygenators and floating plants to help shade the water.

Anacharis -- a submerged oxygenator

Hornwort -- another submerged oxygenator

I bought a few bunches of each of the submerged plants. Not only will they supply oxygen to the water, but they'll provide places for baby fish to hide -- not to mention lots of other aquatic wildlife. (Incidentally, both of these are common aquarium plants.)

I selected one of the "classic" water plants too: a hardy water lily:


It doesn't look like much, but I suppose not many plants do at this time of year, especially while they're still quite small. This is a red-flowering variety called "Attraction". I chose it because it can tolerate a bit of shade which I'll get for part of the day from the maple tree.

To complete my aquatic plant selection I chose a couple of floating plants:

Red-stemmed parrot feather

Frogbit

Yes the lily leaves will soon reach the surface and float, but having a single type of plant on the water's surface seemed boring and not diversified enough. Both of these floaters have fine texture underwater -- small places for creatures to live: the frogbit's roots, and all parts of the parrot feather.

Only the fish and other underwater citizens will get to see this view


To keep the submerged plants underwater I tied some heavy nuts to them using fishing line:


You often read that you can use lead fishing weights for this, but I haven't had access to a tackle box since I was a child so I used what was available.



The lily got planted in a plastic nursery pot using my heavy clay garden soil, with a couple of fertilizer tabs added:



Still doesn't look like much, even after adding some rocks. Some day soon though it will be the star of the pond, right? I put the pot in the shallow water for now, and will move it deeper once the leaves grow out a bit more. I think if I put it too deep to start with it will take much longer to get going (I hate when websites tell you what to do without saying why you should do them).


The floating plants at first were just thrown onto the water, but the wind blew them all to one side of the pond so I ended up using more weights with longer lengths of fishing line to tether them into place:


They can still move around a little, but not too much.

Not a very impressive display on the surface right now, is it? Those three small green spots will hopefully soon be spreading so fast I'll need to keep pruning and removing plant material to keep part of the surface clear.


And I soon hope to see tadpoles swimming around these "huge masses" of underwater greenery. (They'll actually grow quite quickly too from what I've read. We'll see...)


A nice sunny day, my first experience with aquatic plants -- what a nice lunchtime break in the garden!


These clouds moved in a few minutes later, bringing overcast skies and rain -- glad I was done for the day!


(An update on these plants and more pond planting coming soon.)

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Gerhard Bock  – (March 29, 2012 at 9:53 AM)  

A complete new world! I can't wait to follow your progress.

Christine  – (March 29, 2012 at 10:38 AM)  

Ah, so looking forward to seeing what develops here. Love your choices. Guess what? I have tons of baby fishes in my pond and one of the adults looks extremely pregnant so more to come. Just wish they let me photograph them :)

sandy lawrence –   – (March 29, 2012 at 10:41 AM)  

Oh, good, glad we're back to the pond project. This is very interesting. Thanks for letting us follow your progress.

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