When we think of pond gardens, we usually think of the Goldfish and Koi that homeowners commonly stock in their home water gardens. Gardeners have another reason to maintain pond gardens in their backyard. These watery gardens are a great place to extend our gardening hobby.
Ultimately, water gardening opens up our hobby to a wide variety of new, water-loving plants. The selection of plants is varied and unique. The current popularity of fish ponds brings with it an increased interest in exotic plants. These plants provide four functions:
They help to aerate the water for the fish.
Plants often are a source of food for the fish.
They decorate the pond, creating a more natural setting.
They afford the gardener a new avenue for their hobby.
Fish and garden supply stores offer a wide array of plants suitable for water gardens. The most common are Koi and Goldfish. In addition, there is a wide variety of plants and landscaping, to help you make your pond garden the envy of all your friends and neighbors.
The most important decision you will make is selecting where to place your water garden. Pond gardens offer peace and serenity. As a result, the ideal site selection is an extremely important decision. Place it in a location that is visible to you, and where you can enjoy walking or sitting by it. Avoid high traffic areas of your yard, and especially areas where kids play and can fall into it, or drop balls, toys, and other objects into the water.
Once you think you have the perfect spot, outline it and leave the outline in place for a few days. Examine the location, from different angles and perspectives. Imagine it being there all four seasons of the year.
Pond gardens require a plan. You will need to dig a hole deep enough for your fish to survive under the ice all winter long. Yes, fish go dormant in the icy pond water. You will need a variety of supplies: liner, pump and tubing, landscaping, lighting, fish, and most importantly…plants. We suggest you buy and read a book on the topic or visit a pond supply store before you set your final plans.
Water Lilies are by far the most commonly known and sought plants. They come in a wide variety and can be found at garden and pond supply stores. Lotus plants are also a quite common selection.
The use of pond netting during certain times of the year, is advantageous for many reasons.
As fall arrives, pond netting captures leaves, keeping them from filling up your pond and clogging filter systems. 1/2″ to 1/4″ mesh is recommended to capture debris.
Predators can visit your pond. While birds are the most common predators, there are a variety of animals, including your house cat, that may “fish” at your pond. They can quickly harvest koi and other fish that you have stocked. If a problem exists, cover your pond whenever possible, especially when you are away from home.