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Confusion about aquatic plants planting method

thrxvsthrxvs Posts: 31
Hi folks

We have been lucky enough to have been able to create an artificial pond in our new allotment a few weeks ago and would now like to get some marginal plants to encourage the wildlife.

I've been looking through some guides on how to plant marginal plants but there seems to be conflicting advice. Some sources say to use aquatic baskets filled with soil and topped with gravel, other sources say to just use gravel in the basket and no soil at all. Could anyone recommend which of these is best, or is there no difference really?

I can provide the info of which plants we are looking at if it helps? Thanks in advance for any advice!


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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,692
    I don't use "aquatic basket" , they're too expensive, I use ordinary plant pots and I don't use "aquatic compost" , also too expensive. 
    How big is your pond and what plants are you planning to use?
    Is your pond lined? Does it have any soil in it?
    Devon.
  • thrxvsthrxvs Posts: 31
    Thanks for the reply and information. I was thinking about just using normal plant pots as well but this is our first proper pond and so we are quite new to this and learning all the time! The pond is lined with a normal plastic pond liner. It is very roughly around 2 metres by 1.5 metres and around 40cm deep at deepest point but we have put steps in so there are different levels. There is no soil in it at the minute.

    We have these 3 plants in mind at the minute which were described as marginal plants, not ordered any yet though. Open to suggestions of course:
    Caltha Palustris (Marsh Marigold)
    Alisma Lanceolata
    Water Forget me Not


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,692
    Caltha can be planted in the ground beside the pond, provided it's kept moist.
    I don't know Alisma. Water forget me not can be a bit of a thug if it's happy.
    IMHO providing you have overhanging cover ( Hostas do well  ;) ) and you have some way of critters "escaping" if they fall in, a pile of housebricks, a sandbag , a plank etc , you should be fine.
    It's very easy to get carried away and this time next year think you need to start pulling stuff back out.
    Devon.
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,801
    I've made a new pond this year, almost exactly the same size as yours (bit deeper at the deepest point). I've used aquatic baskets and bags, I didn't find them too expensive - about £1.20 each - but it's a small pond, not a lake like Hostafan's so the cost didn't mount up too much.

    I did buy some aquatic soil initially but it's not necessary if you have some garden loam (not compost) you can use. I too read about the 'gravel only' option but as I couldn't find anything definitive on that, I stuck with planting in soil, topped with gravel. 

    In the end, I decided to follow the planting advice I found on the Devon Pond Plants site as I bought some plants from him and have found them very good and reliable and he's very approachable and helpful for extra questions.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,801
    PS here's the Planting Tips page I mentioned earlier: http://www.devonpondplants.co.uk/plant-info.html
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,364
    Agree with Hosta and LG.
    There is no need for aquatic compost [ as Monty stated on the last GW. he got something right Hosta ]. Gravel on top of the pots, is a good idea.
    I have used aquatic pots, but I don't think it is essential.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,692
    punkdoc said:
    Agree with Hosta and LG.
    There is no need for aquatic compost [ as Monty stated on the last GW. he got something right Hosta ]. Gravel on top of the pots, is a good idea.
    I have used aquatic pots, but I don't think it is essential.
    It's not his getting things right @ punkdoc, he often does, it's how often he gets things wrong which is annoying.
    Devon.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,364
    I disagree with many experts on gardening matters, but I think that might be, because there are so few facts, but many myths, peddled as facts.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • RubyLeafRubyLeaf Posts: 244
    If you have any spare pond liner, that is what I used to line the pots :)
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,801
    I didn't line the aquatic pots at all, as I didn't have any hessian. But the Devon PP bloke says that isn't necessary either. Id make sure the soil was soaked through before plunging.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
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