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Large Container Water Gardening
By Mary Hanna
To start a water garden there are a few things that are essential. You will need a container that will hold enough water to sustain your plants and maybe some fish and at least six hours of sun each day.

Not so long ago water gardening was restricted to ponds or large bodies of water. Even if you live in an apartment you are able to have and enjoy a water garden. Water gardening is different from your normal gardens. They have different needs but as long as you cater to these needs you will be surprised at some of the places you can have a water garden.

To start a water garden you will need a large container that will hold 15 to 20 gallons of water. You must also know how deep each plant needs to sit in the water. Find out from your local nursery center how deep each plant needs to be placed in your container. You can also find this information online.

Be very careful of filling your container with tap water. Many communities use chemicals in the water system to make it potable. If there is high chlorine count in the water you use, it will probably kill your plants. If you are going to use tap water, fill the container two days before you place any plants in it so that the chlorine can burn off.

There are three basic kinds of plants for water gardening. There are plants that only grow above the water line while others grow beneath the surface of the water. And then there plants that are called "floaters" because they seem to float on the surface. You will need to know the care and needs of the plants before you will know which varieties to plant. It will also depend on the size of your container.

Consider some fish or snails for your water garden. A small container will accommodate guppies because they will tolerate various temperatures. The benefit of guppies is that they eat mosquitoes who will be tempted by the water. If you are using a large container buy one or two goldfish. Place


some snails in your container garden to eat the decaying plant matter and fish waste. They are kind of like the vacuum cleaner of the water garden.

The snails will not be sufficient to keep your garden clean and fresh. In order to have a successful water garden you must have some kind of fresh water supply. You must plan on how often and how easily the water garden can be cleaned and stocked with fresh water.

Buy a small submersible pump to keep the water moving and avoid stagnation. Place the pump in a nylon stocking before putting it in the water garden. The nylon will keep small particles from entering the pump and befouling it. This is a crucial step. If you have to fish out the pump to clean it out, it will foul the water. You may want to buy a sprouting ornament and place it on the rime of the container. Attach it to the pump with rubber tubing. This will add depth and texture to your water garden.

If you follow these tips for your water garden you will have a successful and pretty project. For tips and techniques for small container water gardening see my article with that name.

Happy Gardening!

Copyright Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.

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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.

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