Planning the Size of a Water Garden
When you're putting in your water garden, it's tempting to go with something really tiny. You might think that it's easier to start small, to have only a few plants and animals to worry about. However, tiny gardens are hard to keep in balance. Every tiny change in pH, alkalinity, temperature and chemical composition will have a huge impact, percentage-wise, if you only have a small volume of water. With water gardens, aquariums and other aquatic setups, the larger, the better.
Water environments are comprised of a system that has a pH to maintain, clarity, algae balance, and more. Fish tank owners will tell you that a large fishtank is much easier to keep running smoothly when compared with a tiny fishtank. The same is true for water gardens.
Make sure that the very first thing you do in planning your water garden is to Chosen a Water Garden Location. Once you have selected the ideal location for your project, you need to determine how big you can go.
It really helps to draw out a map of your back yard at this point. There are many inexpensive software packages to help you with this task, or simply get a piece of paper and plot the location out with a pencil. Get a tape measure or string to get at least approximate distances. Mark where trees, stumps, flower beds, and any other significant items are located. Make sure you include any underground items such as electrical wires, septic systems or pipes.
Now determine how large of a water garden would fit into the available space. Be sure to leave space around the edges of the pond for you to get in and work on it. Also do not put it too close to any trees. Not only would the falling leaves and sticks cause trouble for you, but the large roots beneath the tree would be difficult to cut through.
The space of your area and its layout will be a primary factor in your next step, choosing to go with a fixed shape pond or going with a flexible liner that you can mold into your own shape.
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