Creating a Dragonfly Pond

Dragonflies are great aerial acrobats and fun to watch. They are a nice addition to any garden and they eat large numbers of mosquitoes. The best way to attract them to your garden is to create a dragonfly pond which will give them a place to breed and raise their young.

In this post I’ll provide the information you need to build such a wildlife pond.

Creating a Dragonfly Pond
Creating a Dragonfly Pond

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Does Barley Straw Stop Algae Growth in Ponds?

Algae is probably the pond owners biggest problem and people try everything to get rid of it, even barley straw. This is becoming a common method and companies are even selling bags of it for small back yard ponds, but does it actually work?

If you think about it for a minute, it does not make any sense. Why would barley straw work? Why not some other kind of straw?

Even if it does work, it seems a shame to use it in a pond rather than make beer out of it!

Does Barley Straw Stop Algae Growth in Ponds?
Does Barley Straw Stop Algae Growth in Ponds?

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Selecting the Best Pond Liner?

You have decided to build a pond and now you need to select the best pond liner. There are numerous choices out there, at various price points. In this post I will compare your options and make a recommendation for the best pond liner.

Which pond liner is best?
What is the best pond liner?

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Aquaponics – Grow Vegetables in Your Pond

Imagine growing vegetables in your pond. You never have to water them, or fertilize them. Since ponds stay cooler than soil, cool growing crops like lettuce can be grown over a longer period of time. Ponds are a natural source of nutrients, especially if they contain fish, and these nutrients help vegetables grow aquaponically. Not only do you produce food but the growing vegetables help keep algae levels low.

Vegetables can be grown right in the pond or in an associated bog garden without any extra equipment. Or you can get more serious about this and pump water to an external hydroponic growing area.

Lettuce ready to harvest from a Styrofoam raft floating on a pond
Lettuce ready to harvest from a Styrofoam raft floating on a pond

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Winterizing Ponds and Water Features

Winterizing ponds is important for anyone who lives in a climate where water freezes. Even in warmer areas were temperatures get close to freezing, you should consider some preparation steps for cold weather.

This post looks at things you should consider before winter sets in.

Winterizing your pond - a small air pump is preventing the pond from freezing over, by Robert Pavlis
Winterizing ponds – a small air pump is preventing the pond from freezing over, by Robert Pavlis

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Beneficial Pond Bacteria – A Waste of Money

I was reading some gardening Facebook posts and a lady said she buys beneficial pond bacteria for her pond and adds them weekly. WOW! That was news to me. I’ve had a man-made pond for over 8 years that works just fine without added bacteria. I must be missing something important?

Truth be told – I smelled another gardening myth. Let’s have a look.

Beneficial pond bacteria for ponds - koi
Beneficial pond bacteria for ponds – koi

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Do You Need Pond Pumps and Pond Filters to Control Algae?

About 7 years ago I started developing various water features, both garden ponds and water falls. As part of my research I found consistent comments like the following:  you can’t make a natural pond using a pond liner without pumps and filters. The use of the word ‘natural’ here refers to the pond filtration system, not the esthetic look of the pond. I’ll deal with esthetics in a future post on how to build ponds.

In a natural pond the water, soil, plants, and animals all live in harmony. No one comes along to clean the pond or to aerate it. There is no big man-made filtration system that keeps the water clean. The common advice is that a pond liner is artificial and a pond built with it will never reach a natural state where the water, plants, and animals live in harmony the way they do in a natural pond. If you don’t filter such an unnatural pond it will become full of algae and the water will be dirty and smelly. The only way to have a pond with a liner is to add aeration and filtration.

Is this really true? Do you need pumps and filters to provide artificial pond filtration?

pond pumps and pond filters
Author’s pond at Aspen Grove Gardens (1 st year)

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