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The Zones in your pond

A well-balanced, blooming pond exudes calm and has a huge attraction for  every living organism in the neighborhood. The biological balance of the water has a very important part to play in this context. The range of  plants currently stocked by Bernd’s Pond allows every plant lover to  create his or her preferred water garden. Pond lovers are helped to make choices by the clearly structured lists showing which plant is best for each part of the pond.

A pond is divided into 5 planting zones,  all of which depend on the depth of your pond, although there is some  natural overlapping.

Zone 1 contains the marginal plants.
Zone 2 contains the marsh or bog plants varying in depths between 0 and 6” under water.
Zone 3 contains the water plants that have to be planted between 0 and 12” under water.
Zone 4 contains the water lilies and oxygenators at various depths between 12 and 36” under water
Zone 5 contains the surface floaters that float on the surface of the pond.


Zone 1
These plants stand around the pond in straightforward garden soil. The soil  is dry to moist and can become waterlogged as the result of heavy rain  or if the pond floods. Marginal plants should be chosen for their shape  and height to create a gradual transition to the actual water plants.  Another way of creating an attractive transition from garden to pond is  by using a layer of pebbles or stones that continues into the edge of  the pond. Pebbles and rocks can also be used to camouflage the edges of a pond liner or of the preformed mold. Plants can be planted among the  stones and pebbles to look as though they are growing into the water.  The result is very natural looking.

Zone 2
The marsh area starts immediately over the edge of the pond. This area is  freely accessible to the pond water, which will keep it wet. Marsh  plants need their roots to be between 0 and about 6” under water,  depending on species. The labels of these plants always indicate what  depth of water they can tolerate. It is very important to maintain your  marsh plants carefully to ensure they do not become messy and untidy.  One way to inhibit the more invasive varieties is by planting them in  pond baskets.

Zone 3
Heading into the pond from the marsh or bog zone; we arrive at the water plant  zone. These are the plants most suitable for planting in the deeper  parts of the pond and must have their roots under water. In fact they  can grow completely under water, to a depth of up to 12”. Here again you can use pond baskets for planting. The baskets should be filled with  aquatic compost for deep water plants or substrate and covered with  gravel.

Zone 4
Finally we reach the pond’s deep water zone, which is a suitable habitat for  plants such as water lilies. Water lilies take root in the soil at the  bottom of the pond and prefer calm, stagnant water. Water lilies create  areas of shade under their leaves and this inhibits the growth of algae. During the day water lilies are a delight to the eye but they close  their flowers at night and when the weather is gloomy. The depth at  which the different varieties of water lilies should be planted is shown on the label accompanying the plant. It can vary between 12 and 36” deep. This means that there is a water lily for every type of pond.  Water lilies are generally planted in baskets and then placed on the  bottom of the pond, container, trough or tub.

Zone 4
Like water lilies oxygenating plants belong in the deeper regions of the  pond. Oxygenating plants remove large volumes of nutrients from the  water and compete for the dissolved mineral salts on which algae thrive, thereby starving the algae out. The purpose of oxygenators is to  produce oxygen, some of which is absorbed by the water. The oxygenated  water is more efficient in terms of promoting the natural breakdown of  waste materials in the pond water. This prevents rotting in the bottom  layers of the pond bed. Oxygenator’s are available in pots and in loose  bunches. The bunches can be planted in baskets filled with aquatic plant media and covered with gravel. 5 bunches per cubic yard is the  recommended quantity.

Zone 5
These plants simply float on the surface of the pond. They are not planted,  but are laid in the water. They produce roots to absorb nutrients from  the water, rather than to attach themselves to anything. Surface  floaters are an important element of a healthy pond. They filter the  effects of sunlight on the water and remove large quantities of mineral  salts. This inhibits the growth of algae. Surface floaters multiply at  speed and it is essential to remove plants from the pond regularly to  stop the surface from becoming completely covered. We recommend always  keeping two thirds of the water surface of your pond free of plant  cover.

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