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Container Ponds


#Backyard Gardening #Container Ponds #Gardening and Agriculture #Natural Ponds #Water Features #Wetlands #Wildlife Habitat


Alidia Vane

Wetlands, such as bogs and lakes, are crucial reservoirs of biodiversity. According to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, 40% of plants and animals depend on wetlands for water, food, shelter/habitat, or migratory rest stops. This makes wetlands one of the most biodiverse habitats in the world. However, despite their importance, wetlands have been undervalued. Invasive species, pollution, unsustainable development, climate change, and insufficient protections have all led wetlands to disappear at an alarming rate.

Fortunately, there is an easy and fun way that anyone can support wetlands: by building a “mini-wetland” in your garden or community! A mini-wetland is a small area that provides fresh water, shelter, and food to frogs, insects, birds, and other wildlife. A mini-wetland could be a small rain garden, in-ground pond, or above-ground container pond. In this article, we’ll focus on container ponds, since they can be installed anywhere, even on a patio or other hard surface.

A container pond consists of a water-tight container, such as a barrel or old sink, which is upcycled into a wildlife haven. Once you select a container, here are the steps to set up your pond:

  1. Place your container in dappled shade (that is, where it gets some light, but not blazing all-day sun).
  2. Put gravel or small stones in the bottom of the container for the base, and then add larger rocks or bricks to create different levels. Providing different levels within the pond will allow you to include a variety of aquatic plants, since some plants prefer to be totally submerged and others prefer to be near the surface.
  3. Use a stick or stacked rocks to create a ramp for creatures to safely enter and exit the pond.
  4. Add native aquatic plants to provide wildlife habitat and oxygenate the water.
  5. Finally, it’s time to add water! It’s best to use collected rainwater for this, but you can also use tap water. If you use tap water, let it stand for 48 hours beforehand for the chlorine to dissipate.

This quick project can take less than an hour to assemble, but with proper maintenance, your pond will provide safe habitat to local wildlife for years to come! For a video tutorial, check out the “Action” link below. To explore similar mini-wetland projects or to learn more about the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, visit their website at the “Definition” link below.

  • Action
  • Definition