[permaculture] Pasture Renovation and Fertility/Pond Clean Up

lfl at intrex.net lfl at intrex.net
Tue Aug 20 13:42:53 EDT 2002

FranksFarm at aol.com wrote:
> Good day all:)
> In a message dated 8/19/02 12:03:21 AM, lfl at intrex.net writes:
> << For small ponds or pools or constructed wetlands they are ideal, though 
> not cold hardy in US zone 7 without protection >>
> Larry..what plants would you recommend for Zone 6? I'm trying to create a 
> thriving pond community that would include (eventually) a variety of fish, 
> plants, poultry, etc.

Water hyacinth will not survive zone 6 wintere, zone 7 either. Don't 
know about azolla (duckweed) but possibly - it is a nitrogen fixer,
has a N2-fixing bacteria living symbiotically within the folds of its 
leaves - anacharis (maybe this is cabomba) will root on the bottom
in shallows and absorb/recycle nutrients - as it does not float freely 
would be difficult to harvest. Carp will eat plants and algae - grass 
carp are commonly introduced to clean up pondweed - there may be a 
problem with their eating the fry of other introduced fish so they alone 
survive. To absorb nutrients from manure and other organic residues 
flowing into the pond I  would develop a broad shallows area along the 
banks extending gradually into deeper water. In this area I would 
introduce a wide array of hardy aquatic plants from cattails to grasses
(you could grow rice!), this estuarine zone would be capable of 
providing habitat for insects, fish and amphibians and would create food 
sources for other non-aquatic species. Over time the ecology of this 
area would stablize and your pond water would begin to clear and stay 
that way. Another way to deal with manure-rich slurry washing into the 
pond and becoming a regular problem would be to create a pre-catchment
area for this material, namely deep, wide, partially below-existing 
grade swales. A variety of weeds and introduced plants would ebb and 
flow in a fight for survival in this environment as water levels change.
Willows, river birches and other trees, shrubs and plants could be 
planted within this zone to utilize the nutrients constantly flowing 
into this zone. The overflow would go into the shallows of your pond
and be further absorbed and cleaned by plants and marine organisms.
Darren has talked about building ponds with crenelated edges. That 
feature could be added to and would further enhance any benefits derives 
from the schemes I have described.

Get out the backhoe-loader  and tractor equipped with a good, adjustable 
blade or better yet, a Gill Rollover. Cut drainage channels and build 
swales, carve the edges of the pond with a narrow bucket on the backhoe.

If you've gotten this far maybe you'e getting some ideas of your own.

How about some pix of your place -is your website still online?


> We had geese and ducks...and enjoyed them a lot. But when the ponds froze the 
> coyotes got them. Any ideas how to protect them without putting up elaborate, 
> ugly fencing or spending too many $$$? Again..my goal is to have them forage 
> and take care of themselves while earning their keep:)

lfl at intrex.net

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