How to plant & space for rocks


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I have three questions I’m hoping you can help me with:

1/ Do you prefer to place plants bare-rooted into the rocks in the pond, or, in pots?

2/ I’ve read that when you first plant the pond you should use the soil from the pot and put it in the pond with the plant because the pond is new and has no nutrients to feed the plant.

But I’ve also read NOT to include the dirt.

Which do your prefer and why?

3/ One long side of my pond will come close to a concrete sidewalk in my yard. How much distance in feet or inches should I allow between the edge of the sidewalk and the edge of where I dig my pond for the rockwork and pond liner?



I ordered my liner and it’s on the way, so I’m squaring away as many details as possible.

Thanks!
 
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My preference is to plant bare-root, as I don't care for the look of pots in my pond (this year I've had to make an exception for my waterlilies, since the koi have grown to the size that they were damaging them & I had to protect the tubers) I usually rinse most of the dirt off of the roots before putting them in, particularly if they're growing in typical 'potting soil' (which is lightweight & will float off, rather than stay put) unless the root ball is totally buried in an area filled with pea gravel.

As far as how much space to leave between your sidewalk & the pond? I guess it would depend on what the area looks like & how you envision the traffic flow to be. Will this be simply a walk-past spot? Then I'd leave a bit of room to plant in between the sidewalk & the rocks on the edge. A place to linger, watch & perhaps feed the fish? Then I'd get the edge as close to the walk way as possible (but making sure to leave room for people to congregate)
 
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I think it's best not to use pots. This way the roots have direct access to the nutrients in the water. If you leave some soil on the roots, it won't hurt the water. Just try to keep it in place with some rocks.

If you can't plant directly between the rocks, you can always use a planting mesh bag or make one yourself.
 

j.w

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I do both, pots and between rocks.

I use 100% clay kitty litter w/no additives in my pots. Some plants need fertilizer tab, spikes or pouches in their pots. Dirt mucks up the water and the clay actually is good for the water in clearing it up. It does fog up the water for a bit but that goes away eventually and does not hurt fish.
 
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