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The POND SHOP
Your pond can become the center of interest of your yard. Water gardening requires much less effort than other types of gardening: no weeding; no hoeing; no watering. If you choose your plants wisely, and give them a little attention each year, your water garden can give you months of enjoyment.
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Water lilies, for example, have delighted water gardeners for more than a century. They, together with a variety of other appropriate plants, offer a quick and rewarding means of landscaping.
The following tips may help you enjoy the perfect water garden.
Location: Choose a flat area away from large trees, to avoid falling leaves. Ponds need direct light for plants to grow but need cool areas to prevent algae from developing.
Digging: The ideal depth is 18" to 24". The deeper the pond the more likely your fish and plants will survive the winter weather. Deep ponds should be protected so children do not have access to them. The banks should be dug in a stepped manner, providing various depths (6"-8") around the edges for shallow-water plant life. The excess soil can be used for a waterfall mound.
Smoothing: Before the pond liner is installed check for rocks, or roots, which might puncture the liner. Apply a layer of sand or use an old carpet or padding around the bottom and edges of the pond.
Landscaping: Place rocks so that they slightly hang over the water, protecting any exposed liner from the sun.
Waterscaping: Fountain heads should be at least 2" above the water line. Water falls are an added benefit to any garden pond.
Stabilizing: Let the 'filled pond' stabilize for two weeks before adding plants or fish.
Cleaning: Regular filtering and/or cleaning is essential to maintain your garden pond. Bio-filters and UV Sterilizers are excellent to help control algae.
Planting: For an average pond measuring 6 feet by 8 feet and 2 feet deep, a proper mix of aquatic plants may be: 3 water lilies; 6 surface floating plants; 8 to 10 marginal plants; and 10 to 12 bunches of submerged plants. Many plants will live outside from year to year with little care. Other water plants may have to be taken inside to survive the winter. There are several good books available to give you additional information about selecting, propagating, and growing water plants.