Garden Pond Basic Beginner Tips & Ideas

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I've always wanted a Garden Pond.

Spring is just around the corner and I just finished planting my seeds for my vegetable garden. All this garden planning had me thinking about what other landscaping we could do this year.

I’ve always wanted a Garden Pond. I love watching the Koi fish in the garden ponds at the Milwaukee County Zoo and at the Domes. And, of course, I love all of the beautiful plants you can grow in and around a garden pond. Have you always wanted a little garden pond in your yard? 

Why Have a Garden Pond? 

Ponds add a unique aspect to your garden, provides a great habitat for wildlife, and can even add value to your property! Ponds create a relaxing atmosphere and encourage natural wildlife to thrive. It also enables you to escape from your everyday stresses and have something nice to focus on each day. Installing a pond in your garden can be a lovely, calming feature to add to your green space.

Maintaining Your Pond 

A healthy pond doesn’t just happen. It’s created and maintained by you and it is essential to maintain it in good condition to keep the wildlife happy and healthy. To maintain a healthy pond, you want to ensure that the water in there remains fresh.

By utilizing a pump such as the Tsurumi 12 PN you can enable the water to circulate. Subsurface aeration works from the bottom up, circulating water and increasing dissolved oxygen levels. Aeration is also important for freezing climates. Running an aerator and a deicer together cuts your electricity costs and keeps a hole open in your pond. This is important because it maintains an adequate level of oxygen, which will be beneficial if you have fish in the pond.  

Quality of Water

Pond water parameters can often be overlooked. But, having the correct pond water parameters is one of the most important factors for a successful, healthy garden pond. Correct parameters mean your fish will be healthy, aerobic bacteria can do their job, and any plants you add will thrive.

You will need to educate yourself on all the parameters of “healthy pond water,” which includes: Temperature, Oxygen and pH levels, Chemicals, Hardness, Algae and Bacteria counts,  Nutrients, and Turbidity.

What Pond Plants Can I add?

There are particular types of pond plants that you should be adding as they need to be suitable for surviving in water or living in damp conditions.  The four main varieties to consider are the following:

  1. Fully Submerged Plants Oxygenating Pond Plants– This is due to how they will continuously be submerged in water and release oxygen into the water, supporting the wildlife living there. Examples of Oxygenating Pond Plants: Eelgrass, Fanwort, and Hornwort.
  2. Floating Plants– An example of a floating pond plant would be a water lily, which is planted at the bottom of the pond initially, and gradually drifts up to the surface of the water, where its flowers gently bloom. Examples of common Floating Plants: Duckweed, Common Frogbit, Floating Crystalwort, and Floating Pennywort                                                                            
  3. Bog/Marsh Plants- These plants grow happily near the pond instead of living in the water. They also provide shade for amphibians during warm weather and can be a good spot when they want to hop in and out of the water. Examples of Marsh Plants: Pickleweed, Saltgrass, Alkali Weed, Salty Susan, and Cat-tail.
  4. Marginal Pond Plants– This variety tends to grow around the pond’s edges, with their roots submerged in shallow water, with the remainder of the plant growing upwards. Examples of Marginal Pond Plants: Mint Charlie, Marsh Woundwort, Black Madras Ornamental Rice. 

Do you want a garden pond? If you’re looking for inspiration Empress of Dirt has a spectacular post: 20 Beautiful Garden Pond Ideas for All Budgets

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