Planting New and Established Garden Ponds

Planting a new pool

When planting a new pool it is possible to position waterlilies, other deep water aquatics, and submerged plants on the pool floor before adding water. But be sure that waterlilies, in particular, are placed in an open, sunny position away from the turbulence created by a fountain or waterfall. Also ensure that the foliage of both deep water subjects and submerged oxygenating plants is wrapped in are buried polythene to prevent it drying out while the pool is being filled.

Some gardeners favour the running in of enough water to cover the foliage of plants which are occupying the pool floor. Raising the level as the leaf stems on the waterlilies extend. This is all very well, but if marginal plants are being installed at the same time they are left high and dry and in constant need of watering. By far the best idea is to raise the waterlily baskets on bricks so that the crown is just beneath the final water level. As the leaf stems extend the bricks can be removed until the basket is at the required depth.

When direct planting in a pool with soil spread over the floor, it is impossible to deal with water-lilies in this way. Under such circumstances refrain from introducing marginal plants until all the deep water subjects are established. Marginal plants have very little bearing upon the balance of the pool and their temporary omission allows the pool to be filled slowly as the waterlily foliage grows. Of course, if this is not possible the waterlily can be planted directly into the deep area, but will take a lot longer to become established.

When filling a pool, especially one with a soil-covered floor, there is usually trouble from muddy water. It follows that if a hosepipe is just placed in the pool it will inevitably stir up the compost and distribute it in a cloud around the pool. To prevent this happening place the end of the hosepipe on a sizable sheet of polythene allowing the water to trickle over the edge. As the pool fills, the water level rises lifting the polythene sheet and hosepipe. The polythene is trapped between the water surface and the end of the hosepipe, but is easily removed once the pool is at the desired level.

Planting in an established pool

Occasionally, replacement plants will be required in a well-established pool. Planting of these differs very little from those that are intended for a new venture. The same baskets, soil mixture, and preparation going into replacement stock as when the pool was initially established. This may seem to be stating the obvious, but it is a sad fact that many gardeners neglect to make such a good job of planting additional or replacement plants.

Another important point to heed is plant health. The introduction of diseased stock can lead to considerable damage, particularly if infected with a highly contagious disease like waterlily root rot. Snail eggs should also be removed, especially those in long cylinders of jelly which belong to the troublesome freshwater whelk. I would also make a point here that native aquatic plant life should not be introduced, especially directly from the wild. Apart from unforgivably reducing our natural flora, such plants may be infested with fish parasites and be host to leeches, scorpions and other horrors of the deep.

The actual placing of plants in the water follows along the lines described earlier. Waterlilies and other choice deep water aquatics being raised on brick pedestals and gradually lowered as they grow. Some pool owners lower the baskets on strings and hooks, but these are not often satisfactory. To make a proper job of it place a strong board across the pool on which to kneel and then roll your sleeves up.

31. July 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Aquatic Plants, Water Features | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Planting New and Established Garden Ponds

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