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Water Gardens: Aquatic Soil Question

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SLEDDER
Pittsburgh, PA
(Zone 6a)

April 8, 2002
12:38 PM

Post #26490

I prefer to plant my Aquatic plants in soil instead of the "kitty liter" stuff. Am I alone on this? The kitty liter goes all through my pond and some ends up in my filter. Anyway, it's very difficult to find the aquatic dirt. Every now and then Home Depot will carry it but it's always very late in the season. And I'm separating plants now. Your thoughts? Thanks!! "T" :)
tiG
Newnan, GA
(Zone 8a)

April 8, 2002
12:50 PM

Post #239090

I use our clay soil. Got lucky once and found white clay when they redid our bridge, but most of mine are in straight GA red clay. I touched a bag of that aquatic soil the other day at WalMart, then just couldn't bring myself to pay $7 for something that I really didn't need. Clay has always worked for 7 years now, I'll just stick with it:)

This message was edited Monday, Apr 8th 8:51 AM
SLEDDER
Pittsburgh, PA
(Zone 6a)

April 8, 2002
1:08 PM

Post #239107

I know exactly what you mean. It's quite expensive. The next time I find it though I'm gonna have to pay the price. My soil has some clay in it but I'm just not brave enough to try it. I just can't imagine having to drain my whole pond because I used the wrong "dirt". I got a yellow canna at WalMart 2 weeks ago and it had this stringy stuff that looked like the inside of a coconut that had been dried but it surely wasn't enough for the pot...not even close. "T" :)

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


April 8, 2002
1:22 PM

Post #239115

Sledder, too bad those of us "blessed" with clay couldn't send you some. I'm with tiG - when I need more dirt for a pond plant, I just go dig a hole in the yard, down past the sod, LOL. Not always easy digging, but it sure is cheap!
CountryBumkin
Kingston, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 8, 2002
2:17 PM

Post #239144

Hello Sledder---what I like to do is mix the store aquatic soil and my GA. clay, sandy dirt together so it makes the dirt go further. The aquatic dirt can be very expensive especially if you are planting several big pots up for your Lotus or waterlilies. By mixing the two types of dirt together I felt safe I was getting exactly what my plants needed both ways and it was not costing me alot. I have done this for the last couple of years and the plants all do fine. My problem is finding the big black round Lotus pots around here. You use to could find them at HomeDepot but even they didn't have them this year. I had to start using the black pots that trees come in from the nurseries instead. Does anyone know where to find the Lotus pots??
Good Luck Sledder with your pond dirt. :)
SLEDDER
Pittsburgh, PA
(Zone 6a)

April 8, 2002
4:24 PM

Post #239184

Thanks Country. It's that time of year that everyone is looking for everything. Last year I asked one of the sales people at our local Home Depot if they had Aquatic Soil and the lady looked at me like I was from outer space. (hey,,,be nice lol) Then 1 week later it was on the shelves. That's what I'm using now but ran out. grrrrr...Oh well. Also Country, I see you need some plants. I may have a trade of zebra rush. If you're interested email me direct and I'll see what I can do. "T" :)
purpleice
Bridgman, MI
(Zone 5a)

April 8, 2002
11:26 PM

Post #239351

I have a very small pond ( 125 gallons) with a fixed plastic liner with a bottom, and then a shelf which runs around the interior top portion of it. The bottom portion is used to set pots of water lilies ( theres only room for one) and the top step is used for marginal plants. My expierience has been that when I use regular soil from my garden the plants are happier, they're heavier and more stable and they retain aquatic plant fertilizer tablets better. The algae content in the pond seems to be less when I use soil.

The aquatic soiless planting material was nice, but it was too light weighted to securely hold my taller marginal plants in place which then toppled over whenever we had a severe windy day, even after being secured in place by two bricks situated at the base of the pots. The result was I had this soiless dirt spill into my pond along with the pea gravel and thus get sucked up into my pump. A mess!

I have decided regular garden soil is the best, it's cheaper and more affective, and it seems to work! I will never go back to the other alternative.

IRIS
Greenville, SC
(Zone 7a)

April 9, 2002
12:18 AM

Post #239374

I do the same as everyone else who use's 'clay soil' and the plants have always done well ~ ( Call me cheap, But, I don't like to have to dish out extra for anything that I don't really need )
poppysue
Westbrook, ME
(Zone 5a)


April 9, 2002
12:19 AM

Post #239375

I've always used my clay soil too. I've never seen the aquatic soil... what's it made from? What I hate about using clay soil is it makes the pots so darn heavy!! I can't lift them out of my pond by myself - I have to have DH do it for me. I'd like to be able to find something lighter to use - especially for the great big pots.
vic

April 9, 2002
12:35 AM

Post #239382

Hi Sledder...I'm using aquarium gravel this year only because dsil has about fifty thousand aquariums and no longer needed it. I used the kitty litter last year and much prefer it over the clay soil. I use the baskets so the litter doesn't get out and cause a problem. The aquarium soil is prettier. I don't use the clay because it was really clouding up the water. I'm getting up to my ears in plants. I just finished dividing mine. How do you mail water plants. Tell me how and I will be glad to send you some. I have tons of sweet flag and the flowers are yellow. By the way, one of the people I buy my water plants from only uses clay soil for all his stuff. He has about a half dozen beautiful water gardens all filled with beautiful plants. Hope you come up with a medium you like...vic
SLEDDER
Pittsburgh, PA
(Zone 6a)

April 9, 2002
1:59 AM

Post #239421

Thanks for the thoughts everyone. It seems I'm not alone on the soil thing. The kitty liter stuff may be lighter but to me much messier. I'm separating plants also so I may have plants to trade in a few weeks. I've received several aquatic plants on trade and all but 2 have lived. Simply wrap the roots in wet paper towels, use a ziploc bag and they seem to mail just fine. I won't have a lily to trade but I may have zebra rush and a tropical umbrella palm. I want to be sure what I separate is going to live before I'd trade them. If anyone is separating plants this spring and has anything that flowers please save me some. Happy Ponding all!! "T" :)

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