soil (not gravel) in pond

Description of your first forum.

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by Mike » Mon, 14 Feb 2000 04:00:00



Elizabeth,

Algae will be a problem and the fish will keep the dirt stirred up
(especially koi) Greg Brickel planted some in gravel on the bottom and says
they are doing well http://soli.inav.net/~bickal. They feed on the sediment
i'm sure. Sounds like a much better way to get the result you want.

Mike G.
www.ponds2go.com


Quote:
> Have any of you tried a layer of soil at the bottom of the pond? I am
> considering putting in 2-3 inches of soil and planting my lilies directly
into
> the soil instead of having to look at the pots. Besides aesthetics, most
of my
> tropical lilies were already dug out of their pots by the fish. The ones
at the
> bottom did much better this winter than the ones in pots. My big dilemma
is
> whether to use pure sand and prevent the risk of suspended solids, or
Garden
> soil which is free and readily available.
> I am in the midst of an unscientific test that is showing my soil to be
>95%
> silt and less than 5% each sand and clay. Clay will provide nutrients (and
bind
> phosphates) to the plants roots at the risk of muddying the water
slightly. I
> can use aluminum sulfate I suppose to help with that. I could also put a
layer
> of gravel over the soil to hold it down. I plan to plant Sagittaria
subulata as
> a ground cover over the whole bottom. See pg 44 of 'The pond Doctor'  by
Nash.
>  That brings me to my second question. How far apart on center should I
plant
> these in order to get complete coverage. I'm trying to figure out how many
> plants I will need. Anybody know of good prices on these plants. I'm
guessing
> that I will need at least 200.
> Sorry for the long post, but you guys always help me think better. So am I
> crazy or not?
> elizabeth

> http://hometown.aol.com/lotts2c/life1/index.htm

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by Terry in Texa » Mon, 14 Feb 2000 04:00:00


Hi Elizabeth
You're braver than I am .
When I spilled a bucket of soil even after it settled the fish were always
stirring it up and making the water cloudy.
Maybe the plants will help. It will be interesting to see if others have
tried this.
Terry in Texas

http://oursecretpond.homestead.com


Quote:

writes:

>>Algae will be a problem and the fish will keep the dirt stirred up
>>(especially koi) Greg Brickel planted some in gravel on the bottom and
says
>>they are doing well http://soli.inav.net/~bickal. They feed on the
sediment
>>i'm sure. Sounds like a much better way to get the result you want.

>Oh yeah, thanks Mike,
>I forgot to mention, approx. 2000gallons, no koi, pH maintained at 7.8-
8.4, KH
>kept lowered to 120- 180 ppm, GH  kept up to 200- 250 ppm, have bazillions
of
>plants,  fish are running out of swimming room, which is why I want to use
the
>low-growing dwf sagittaria.
>thanks again, elizabeth

>http://hometown.aol.com/lotts2c/life1/index.htm

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by J.D. Ston » Mon, 14 Feb 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
>>Have any of you tried a layer of soil at the bottom of the pond? I am

considering putting in 2-3 inches of soil and planting my lilies directly
into
the soil instead of having to look at the pots.<<

Elizabeth. I let my lilies jump the pots again. When this happens they are
very prolific and grow enormous root systems. Large tubers and roots
completely cover the bottom of the pond. What I don't know is if they
wouldn't have such large roots if they were kept in the pot (obviously not)
or if they were in soil at the bottom as you suggest. If you try this,
please keep us posted. I suspect maybe they wouldn't grow such large roots
if they had sufficient nutrients close by (i.e in the soil). But if they
grow in the soil like they do when they jump the pots, they will quickly
become unmanageable.
--
JD

http://www.nrgy.com
See my pond at http://www.nrgy.com/pond.htm
Check links, filters, waterfalls, etc. http://www.nrgy.com/pondlink.htm
My favorite pond books http://www.nrgy.com/pondbook.htm

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by Elizabeth Lo » Tue, 15 Feb 2000 04:00:00


Have any of you tried a layer of soil at the bottom of the pond? I am
considering putting in 2-3 inches of soil and planting my lilies directly into
the soil instead of having to look at the pots. Besides aesthetics, most of my
tropical lilies were already dug out of their pots by the fish. The ones at the
bottom did much better this winter than the ones in pots. My big dilemma is
whether to use pure sand and prevent the risk of suspended solids, or garden
soil which is free and readily available.
I am in the midst of an unscientific test that is showing my soil to be >95%
silt and less than 5% each sand and clay. Clay will provide nutrients (and bind
phosphates) to the plants roots at the risk of muddying the water slightly. I
can use aluminum sulfate I suppose to help with that. I could also put a layer
of gravel over the soil to hold it down. I plan to plant Sagittaria subulata as
a ground cover over the whole bottom. See pg 44 of 'The Pond Doctor'  by Nash.
 That brings me to my second question. How far apart on center should I plant
these in order to get complete coverage. I'm trying to figure out how many
plants I will need. Anybody know of good prices on these plants. I'm guessing
that I will need at least 200.
Sorry for the long post, but you guys always help me think better. So am I
crazy or not?
elizabeth

http://hometown.aol.com/lotts2c/life1/index.htm

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by Elizabeth Lo » Tue, 15 Feb 2000 04:00:00


Quote:

>Algae will be a problem and the fish will keep the dirt stirred up
>(especially koi) Greg Brickel planted some in gravel on the bottom and says
>they are doing well http://soli.inav.net/~bickal. They feed on the sediment
>i'm sure. Sounds like a much better way to get the result you want.

Oh yeah, thanks Mike,
I forgot to mention, approx. 2000gallons, no koi, pH maintained at 7.8- 8.4, KH
kept lowered to 120- 180 ppm, GH  kept up to 200- 250 ppm, have bazillions of
plants,  fish are running out of swimming room, which is why I want to use the
low-growing dwf sagittaria.
thanks again, elizabeth

http://hometown.aol.com/lotts2c/life1/index.htm

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by K30 » Tue, 15 Feb 2000 04:00:00


Elizabeth,

I have a layer of kitty litter on the bottom of my pond (from numerous spilled
pots and koi playing poo-tooey with the litter until I covered it up with
rocks) and dirt and sand that has blown in (we get lots of gritty days).
I put in six healthy lush bunches of anacharis from Daydreamers in my pond last
spring and it grew to cover the whole bottom except for one area (not sure why
and I'll be interested to see if it covers that this year). Pond is about 11'
by 15' (ish).
My water was clear all year and it gives wonderful coverage for the fish, Mr.
Kingfisher came back and didn't even try the decoys (who are looking rather
mossy right now).
Not even sure where the lily roots are now as I can't seem to find the pots
anymore.
I have a feeling my pond is getting away from me and I'm never going to catch
up.... last time I got in the pond Helmut the Second (the turtle) tried to make
a meal of my big toe.

k30 and the water gardening labradors
REC.PONDS INFORMAL FAQ PAGE
http://hometown.aol.com/k30a/myhomepage/writing.html
http://hometown.aol.com/k30a/myhomepage/index.html

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by nedra10 » Tue, 15 Feb 2000 04:00:00


Hi Lisa,
I,  too,  am thinking about putting  "something"  in the bottom of the main pond and planting
Sagitteria subulata on the bottom.   I really like the looks of the pond in Nash's book.   You have
said nothing about a bottom drain.  Would this have to be already in?   This is the Koi pond I'm
speaking of.... no lilies or any other plants, other than Anacharis,  are currently  in the pond. As
with Greg in Iowa - my Koi are "eating machines" ..  Think I could get something planted without the
koi knowing it?  ;-)

I'll be watching the posts in this thread... very closely.

Nedra of Missouri

 Nedra's Ponds:
www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pines/4836/

Quote:
> Have any of you tried a layer of soil at the bottom of the pond? I am
> considering putting in 2-3 inches of soil and planting my lilies directly into
> the soil instead of having to look at the pots. Besides aesthetics, most of my
> tropical lilies were already dug out of their pots by the fish. The ones at the
> bottom did much better this winter than the ones in pots. My big dilemma is
> whether to use pure sand and prevent the risk of suspended solids, or garden
> soil which is free and readily available.
> I am in the midst of an unscientific test that is showing my soil to be >95%
> silt and less than 5% each sand and clay. Clay will provide nutrients (and bind
> phosphates) to the plants roots at the risk of muddying the water slightly. I
> can use aluminum sulfate I suppose to help with that. I could also put a layer
> of gravel over the soil to hold it down. I plan to plant Sagittaria subulata as
> a ground cover over the whole bottom. See pg 44 of 'The Pond Doctor'  by Nash.
>  That brings me to my second question. How far apart on center should I plant
> these in order to get complete coverage. I'm trying to figure out how many
> plants I will need. Anybody know of good prices on these plants. I'm guessing
> that I will need at least 200.
> Sorry for the long post, but you guys always help me think better. So am I
> crazy or not?
> elizabeth

> http://hometown.aol.com/lotts2c/life1/index.htm

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by Dave » Tue, 15 Feb 2000 04:00:00


You know you could just do this with pea gravel much easier, but it would be
interesting to see what the benefits of the clay would be.

I think if I was going to try this I would go with a 25/75 to 50/50 sand/clay mix
with a layer of pea gravel on top. That should be plenty of clay and give a dense
enough soil to prevent new organics/solids from mixing in too fast. The pea gravel
would help hold it down and, more importantly, make it easier to keep clean. Keep
it clean and add a good bacteria mix and it should last for a ?while? before it
turns to muck. Maybe 3 years?

The biggest drawback I see with this would be lack of control over plant growth.
You would have to be careful with plant selection and pretty much willing to let it
go since disturbing the soil would be a mess.

Peace
Dave
--
--remove X to reply--
-/-
http://www.dragonkoi.com
http://www.ehap.org

Quote:

> Have any of you tried a layer of soil at the bottom of the pond? I am
> considering putting in 2-3 inches of soil and planting my lilies directly into
> the soil instead of having to look at the pots. Besides aesthetics, most of my
> tropical lilies were already dug out of their pots by the fish. The ones at the
> bottom did much better this winter than the ones in pots. My big dilemma is
> whether to use pure sand and prevent the risk of suspended solids, or garden
> soil which is free and readily available.
> I am in the midst of an unscientific test that is showing my soil to be >95%
> silt and less than 5% each sand and clay. Clay will provide nutrients (and bind
> phosphates) to the plants roots at the risk of muddying the water slightly. I
> can use aluminum sulfate I suppose to help with that. I could also put a layer
> of gravel over the soil to hold it down. I plan to plant Sagittaria subulata as
> a ground cover over the whole bottom. See pg 44 of 'The Pond Doctor'  by Nash.
>  That brings me to my second question. How far apart on center should I plant
> these in order to get complete coverage. I'm trying to figure out how many
> plants I will need. Anybody know of good prices on these plants. I'm guessing
> that I will need at least 200.
> Sorry for the long post, but you guys always help me think better. So am I
> crazy or not?
> elizabeth

> http://hometown.aol.com/lotts2c/life1/index.htm

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by Elizabeth Lo » Tue, 15 Feb 2000 04:00:00



Quote:

>I,  too,  am thinking about putting  "something"  in the bottom of the main
>pond and planting
>Sagitteria subulata on the bottom.   I really like the looks of the pond in
>Nash's book.   You have
>said nothing about a bottom drain.  Would this have to be already in?  

Nedra, no bottom drain in my pond. I would think if you have one, it wouldn't
be wise to put dirt at the bottom of the pond. I already have alot of sand and
gravel down there from spills and construction. I know that sand will not cause
murkiness in my pond. The soil test I did, which was similar to the one Ingrid
described, proves I have some clay to worry about. Don't people use clay in
farm ponds? Are there ponds always muddy?
elizabeth (aka lisa)

http://hometown.aol.com/lotts2c/life1/index.htm

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by Pondin » Tue, 15 Feb 2000 04:00:00


Elizabeth: As a part of our design when we construct water garden ponds we dig
"planting pockets" for the purpose of growing lilies eliminating the use of
pots in the pond. We simply excavate a depression(s) where we want the plants
located. After the flexible liner is installed we fill the depression with
heavy soil available from all garden centers usually called "top soil". Do not
use potting soil as most contains other properties such as peat, or
vermiculite. The lilies are planted directly in the soil and then covered with
a layer of generic cat litter, 2-3 inches, and then covered with pea gravel or
pond pebbles to keep the fish from digging. I have Koi, 6-8 inch in my
demonstration pond and have not had any problem with them excavating the
lilies. When I see them in miners hats and carrying shovels I will begin to
worry.

Best regards,

David
Perfect Ponds
perfectponds.com

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by nedra10 » Tue, 15 Feb 2000 04:00:00


oppss ... I keep forgetting to call you Elizabeth.    Don't want to muddy the water ;-)   ...  Nedra

--
 Nedra's Ponds:
www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pines/4836/

Quote:


> >I,  too,  am thinking about putting  "something"  in the bottom of the main
> >pond and planting
> >Sagitteria subulata on the bottom.   I really like the looks of the pond in
> >Nash's book.   You have
> >said nothing about a bottom drain.  Would this have to be already in?

> Nedra, no bottom drain in my pond. I would think if you have one, it wouldn't
> be wise to put dirt at the bottom of the pond. I already have alot of sand and
> gravel down there from spills and construction. I know that sand will not cause
> murkiness in my pond. The soil test I did, which was similar to the one Ingrid
> described, proves I have some clay to worry about. Don't people use clay in
> farm ponds? Are there ponds always muddy?
> elizabeth (aka lisa)

> http://hometown.aol.com/lotts2c/life1/index.htm

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by Lynn » Tue, 15 Feb 2000 04:00:00


Hi Elizabeth, I am out numbered so I will not rant much. If you have Koi in
your pond you are going to have a big toilet if you put anything in the
bottom of your pond. If you have GF the plants most likely will be able to
handle the toxic fish waste. Lynne


Quote:
> Have any of you tried a layer of soil at the bottom of the pond? I am
> considering putting in 2-3 inches of soil and planting my lilies directly
into
> the soil instead of having to look at the pots. Besides aesthetics, most
of my
> tropical lilies were already dug out of their pots by the fish. The ones
at the
> bottom did much better this winter than the ones in pots. My big dilemma
is
> whether to use pure sand and prevent the risk of suspended solids, or
garden
> soil which is free and readily available.
> I am in the midst of an unscientific test that is showing my soil to be
>95%
> silt and less than 5% each sand and clay. Clay will provide nutrients (and
bind
> phosphates) to the plants roots at the risk of muddying the water
slightly. I
> can use aluminum sulfate I suppose to help with that. I could also put a
layer
> of gravel over the soil to hold it down. I plan to plant Sagittaria
subulata as
> a ground cover over the whole bottom. See pg 44 of 'The Pond Doctor'  by
Nash.
>  That brings me to my second question. How far apart on center should I
plant
> these in order to get complete coverage. I'm trying to figure out how many
> plants I will need. Anybody know of good prices on these plants. I'm
guessing
> that I will need at least 200.
> Sorry for the long post, but you guys always help me think better. So am I
> crazy or not?
> elizabeth

> http://hometown.aol.com/lotts2c/life1/index.htm

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by Roger Bennet » Tue, 15 Feb 2000 04:00:00


Elizabeth Lott,

Here's the short answer (and strictly my opinion based on my own
experiences):

 Don't put any kind of dirt, clay, sand, soil, or kitty litter, directly in
your pond as a planting medium if you want to get rid of the flower pots
holding your plants. Use marble (at the very smallest), to golf ball, to
baseball sized stones instead. The bigger the better. And then, only an inch
or three thick, except around plants that need to be anchored down long
enough to take root out into the thinner rock work.

 In a very short time, fish waste, decomposing plant matter, and air born
dust will silt/wash into the cracks and crevasses of this rock work to
continually cover the growing roots of your plants (free fertilizer).

Here's the long answer (and still my opinion, based solely on experience and
NO advice):

 To start, as soon as spring arrives here in zone 5, I'm going to be
dredging one of my ponds that has basically silted in because we added a
bunch of heavy clay, farm field dirt, to it to grow water lilies in. The
corn stalks floated out and we skimmed them off to start with. The 2 lilies
grew great and literally had hundreds of blooms the last 2 years during the
growing season. Problem is, this pond is now less than a foot deep at the
crowns of the several dozen daughters of the original plants. There's been
at least an additional foot of sludge accumulation in this pond since it was
started.

 This is a ***-lined pond that was originally 2' 4" deep. We added 6" of
clay field dirt (not the richest) to the bottom and planted the lilies two
springs ago. Now (or should I say, last fall), the ponds bottom felt like
carpet padding (because of the lily roots) and was within a foot of the
ponds surface. The lily roots literally took the pond!

 This pond is the turning point of a 600' (*** lined) stream system that
surrounds our flower garden like a moat. It's a settling basin for the top
half of the stream. Still, you say fish are a problem in your pond because
they "root" in the flower pots. Your pond is also much further South than my
system because you have tropical lilies outdoors right now and all I can see
is snow. I'm simply guessing that it would take 5-6 years for your pond to
silt in around the stonework if it started out right with rocks instead of
clay soil for any plants added (in spite of the fish).

 I've got a combination of Goldfish (no Koi), bait shop minnows, and
tropical fish (in season) in my system. They aren't big enough to root out
my plants. If you've got Koi, screen/corral your plants in with wire mesh
until they become established. That's a whole 'nuther subject for this
message board.
RGB

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by Dave & Roxann » Tue, 15 Feb 2000 04:00:00


Hi Elizabeth!  All of our growing ponds are built this way.  We dig the
pond, line it (45 mil roofing liner), then put most of the soil back
into the liner, the soil is then topped with about 1 inch of play sand
from Home Depot.  These ponds are stocked with goldfish and mosquito
fish (note: NO KOI) and the plants are planted directly into the soil.
We pull from these ponds weekly, disturbing the soil (Georgia clay) as
we pull the plants, there is no filtration on the ponds, and no pump.
The ponds stay clear, settling down to clear by the end of the day if we
have pulled from that pond.  Between Monday and Friday of each week, we
are continuously pulling from or planting in these ponds, and the are
always clear for weekend tours.  The ponds are dug at varying depths, so
that we can plant marginals (or lotus) on one shallow end and the deep
water lilies at the other.  

When we receive 200+ lilies, there's no way we could pot them up, and
get 200 pots into a pond before the plants suffered damage, so this was
our solution.  It takes us longer to tag each lily for variety than to
plant them.

Even when the heron visited, the ponds weren't muddy, much to the
chagrin of the goldfish!  I don't know that I would recommend this to a
typical pondkeeper for several reasons, but the primary one being the
heron sure enjoyed walking all around those ponds with great ease as he
had breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day
(http://www.theplantplace.com/greatblue.htm).  If clarity is your only
issue, it works great in our growing ponds and the plants are healthy
and happy.  I would not recommend sand only, tho, as there are no
nutrients available to the plants in sand.

The Dwarf Sagittaria (Sagittaria subulata or Sagittaria natans) creates
a beautiful lawn in the pond -- and sends up small white flowers to the
surface.  It's very vigorous, sending of runners from the root AND new
plants from the flower stalk which bends back underwater and roots
itself.  The flowers are a miniature version of the Arrowhead flower
(also a Sagittaria).  BTW, my koi love to EAT the lawn, so it's not
suitable in a pond with them <g>.  Another suggestion if you want a
bottom growing plant is Vallisneria americana -- this beautiful plant
grows up to 5 ft. deep and 3 ft. high. The Corkscrew Vallisneria is
especially pretty, with twisted curly leaves, but requires more shallow
water (about 2 ft. max).

Roxanne
The Plant Place
http://www.theplantplace.com

Quote:

> Have any of you tried a layer of soil at the bottom of the pond? I am
> considering putting in 2-3 inches of soil and planting my lilies directly into
> the soil instead of having to look at the pots. Besides aesthetics, most of my
> tropical lilies were already dug out of their pots by the fish. The ones at the
> bottom did much better this winter than the ones in pots. My big dilemma is
> whether to use pure sand and prevent the risk of suspended solids, or garden
> soil which is free and readily available.
> I am in the midst of an unscientific test that is showing my soil to be >95%
> silt and less than 5% each sand and clay. Clay will provide nutrients (and bind
> phosphates) to the plants roots at the risk of muddying the water slightly. I
> can use aluminum sulfate I suppose to help with that. I could also put a layer
> of gravel over the soil to hold it down. I plan to plant Sagittaria subulata as
> a ground cover over the whole bottom. See pg 44 of 'The Pond Doctor'  by Nash.
>  That brings me to my second question. How far apart on center should I plant
> these in order to get complete coverage. I'm trying to figure out how many
> plants I will need. Anybody know of good prices on these plants. I'm guessing
> that I will need at least 200.
> Sorry for the long post, but you guys always help me think better. So am I
> crazy or not?
> elizabeth

> http://hometown.aol.com/lotts2c/life1/index.htm

 
 
 

soil (not gravel) in pond

Post by K30 » Wed, 16 Feb 2000 04:00:00


<< http://www.theplantplace.com/greatblue.htm >>

Great pictures!
Isn't it funny how they are not afraid of pets, or at least the watergardening
labradors didn't bother our heron visitor. It was me opening the sliders that
spooked the bird.

k30 and the water gardening labradors
REC.PONDS INFORMAL FAQ PAGE
http://hometown.aol.com/k30a/myhomepage/writing.html
http://hometown.aol.com/k30a/myhomepage/index.html