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A Self-sufficient Water Garden

Aug 17, 2007
One of the primary advantages of choosing to have a water garden is that if you plan it well, a water garden will maintain itself. With a water garden, you can say goodbye to traditional garden tasks like raking, mowing, weeding, digging, and tilling, and hello to being able to relax and enjoy the fruits of mother nature's labors. If you create a water garden that follows the basic tenets of water garden design, pest control will become a thing of the past as your tiny water based eco-system chugs along in a harmonious balance of pest and predator without your intervention.

A water garden does require additional maintenance, like a yearly draining and scrubbing, and a monthly or weekly cleaning of the filtration system. You will occasionally have to run the hose into your pond for a few minutes in order to replenish water lost to evaporation. However, once you've got your water garden up and running, you won't have to spend more than a few minutes a week caring for your garden in order to keep it in top shape. In fact, once your water garden is fully installed and populated with plant and animal life, you won't even have to feed the fish.

By learning a bit about how a water garden works, you will be able to design a water garden that has a harmonious and self sustaining balance of fish, insects, algae, exotic aquatic plants, and bacteria. The fish will eat the insects and the algae, keeping the water clear and bright, and harmful pests that could damage plants completely under control. The bacteria will break down the waste produced by the fish into the core nutrients that the plant life and algae need in order to survive. The algae and the plants in your water garden will soak up these nutrients along with water. The plants will then transform this food into beautiful blooms and lush greenery that will attract more insects, starting the sequence all over again.

This basic series of events is as the heart of any water garden. This simple cycle makes a water garden the perfect option for any garden enthusiast who would rather sit back and relax in a heavenly atmosphere than spend the day knee deep in soil. The most work that you will ever have to do to have a beautiful water garden is in the design and creation of your garden. Once you have mastered how to create your garden's ecosystem, you will be able to step back and let your water garden maintain itself. However, this makes the initial stages of the process all the more important. Learning about what kinds of plants and fish will thrive in your water garden is a crucial first step, because without the knowledge of what will go together harmoniously, you risk having to compensate for any problems by putting in more work later. If you want to create a water garden that won't require maintenance, educating yourself is a vital part of the equation.
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