Blog posts of '2017' 'September'

Why new growth is dying and how to fix
(0) Why new growth is dying and how to fix

Any plant can survive as long as you understand how to treat them as soon as they are planted or brought into your home. If your new growths are dying, and you are unsure why then there are some things you can check. Amazingly, it is possible to save a dying plant, but you must first detect what is wrong quickly in order to rescue them. It is important to check so many conditions such as:

  • The type of soil used
  • The fertility of the soil
  • Over and under watering your plants
  • Exposure to light
  • Pest and diseases, among others.
  • Now, why are new growths dying?
  1.      Harmful Insects and Diseases

One of the most obvious reasons is that the new growth quickly houses harmful insects and diseases that eventually lead to its death. Beetles, anthracnose, and chestnut blight are some examples of harmful insects and disease that are capable of destroying new plants.

  1.      Transparent Leaves

A lack of potassium or iron in the soil could cause transparent leaves. Or, this may occur as a result of dying chloroplasts in the leaves. Ensure that you have enough light and that the correct measurement of fertilizer is properly added. Sometimes, hard and alkaline water is the culprit. In this case, consider using distilled water on the soil or when you change the tank water (if it is in an aquarium).

  1.      Too Much Herbicide

It is a known fact that too much of anything is very bad. When too much herbicide is applied, it may lead to the death of new plants or other plants. The components found in herbicides are enough to change the color and shape of any plant, if applied in excess. This leaf damage is why you shouldn’t apply herbicides very close to your plants.

  1.      Lack of Vitamins And Iron

Lack of vitamins and iron leaves dark spots on the leaves of plants. Check with your store for vitamin and iron supplements that can be added to the soil on which your plant lie on a regular basis.

  1.      Insufficient light

Light is very important to any plant, especially new growths. No matter how much food, water or fertilizer you supply to your plant, if you don’t provide enough light for it, it will not survive for long and will eventually die off. Nowadays, most tanks come with pre-drilled holes that will allow you to set up your own lighting; others come with the light attached to the tank top. In fact, most acrylic tanks will allow you to drill your own holes and install a light. Obviously, another wonderful alternative is simply to place your pond or aquarium on the south side of your house or apartment, close to a window where it will surely get light in abundance

  1.      Fungus

Hair-like growth on the leaves of new plants usually signals fungus. There are basically two ways to correct fungus growth in the tank. The first is stock the tank with grass shrimp or some algae eating fish. The other way is to physically brush it off using your hand.

  1.      Plant Crowding

Plants need enough space to grow. In a crowded pond or aquarium, you have too much competition i.e. plants fighting for the few nutrients and oxygen that is being supplied. Giving your plants a lot of space to grow is a great way to fix this problem. Provide them with a large aquarium that will accommodate its future growth spurts. If it begins to get somewhat clumsy, you should try trimming every now and again – it helps to control its growth.


  1.      Checking Your Soil

Your soil may lack enough nutritional balance and this may wind up destroying your plants. Ensure that your plants have enough nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Add magnesium or calcium as backup nutrients if conceivable. You can also use a pH meter to check whether the quality of your soil. An electronic pH meter or a strip tester can be used to achieve faster results.

  1.      Indoor Climate

Your new plant must be gradually introduced to an indoor climate. It is best if you keep the plant outside where it can be easily moved from excess light to a more shaded spot inside. You have to consider the fact that your house is naturally less humid than the outdoors. After exposing your new plants in full sunlight for a week or two, set them in filtered shade outside for a few weeks. Then, as you head towards the end of the summer you can place the plant on shady yard and then take them indoors finally. This transition is best completed before the period of cold weather. This will ensure that you won’t bring the plant indoors when the heat comes, because the indoor environment becomes drier than normal during this period.

  1.      Applying Fertilizer In The Right Proportion

If your garden lacks enough nutrients, then add fertilizer, compost or extra soil. When buying store variety soil, make sure to take note of the ingredients labels to see exactly what it is made of. Make sure there are low levels of salt in any compost or fertilizer. You can also use green materials such as banana peels or grass clippings as a direct technique for stimulating your dying plants. Also, remember to add compost and fertilizer based on when your plant needs it.


If you are trying to save a dying house plant, try switching to a pot that is well drained and of higher quality. A well-drained pot is one of the best ways to prevent excessive water from sitting in your soil.

The easiest plants to grow with aquaponics
(0) The easiest plants to grow with aquaponics

Aquaponics involves raising certain fruits and vegetable in an aquarium of fish. This type of farming has been around for many years and it can be practiced by homeowners anywhere in their garage, house or a small area outside of the house.

Growing plants using the aquaponics system is easy and rewarding! It makes you forget about the quality of the soil, about digging, weeding, pruning, and fertilizing the land. You can obtain natural veggies and fresh fish in your own house exerting minimal effort and investment.

Plants in aquaponics grow by the help of the disposed waste of the fishes; these wastes are transported to the plants’ system for photosynthesis – a possibility that is feasible since the roots of the plants have contact with the water. In return, fishes grow with the air obtained from the plants. With minimal effort, your plants and fishes will thrive in this system of farming.

Many plants that do well with this system of farming include vegetables, aquatic plants, fruit plants, ornamental plants, etc. With the increased demand for vegetables in the market these days, growing your own vegetables is a great idea. The aquaponics system is one of the best ways for cultivating certain plants because it involves the mutual interaction between plants and aquatic animals.


Most of the common garden vegetables perform excellently with aquaponics, except garlic, onions, potatoes, and other root vegetables. This is because root vegetables require a medium like sand for proper growth. Although, it is possible to grow root crops with aquaponics, yet, it can be tricky.

Vegetables which are popularly grown with aquaponics are lettuce, arugula, basil, chives, cabbage, pak choi, watercress, spinach, corn,kale, tomatoes, mint, Swiss chard, and cucumbers. In actuality, aquaponics allows you to grow any of your favorite vegetables. A few tubal vegetables also do well in this growth media. Learn new things! You can experiment other veggies yourself.

There is no problem related to vine vegetables. In as much as the root can have a firm grip on the grow bed, it will grow and cover the entire grow bed. In addition, beans (pole beans to be specific) are also a great plant for this growth media. Peas, okra, and legumes can also be planted here.


Watermelons and cantaloupes are popular fruits that can be grown with aquaponics. Berries are also very appropriate, and for those lovers of sweet and pink strawberries, try planting them in the aquaponics. Apologies, it would be somewhat difficult to plant fruits with large trees using this technique.

Other successful alternatives include:


Other than the fruits and vegetables that we have discussed in the points above, the aquaponics system is also great for the cultivation of some herbs. Examples of such herbs are watercress, basil, parsley, coriander, sage, and lemongrass.


Those who have vast experience in the aquaponics farming are well aware that some flowers thrive in this growth media. They are awesome additions as they add beauty to the environment to allow it to produce best.

For this reason, you can plant a variety of roses in your hydrated medium. Roses help to increase your overall vegetable yield without exhausting any of the essential nutrients in the aquatic ecosystem.


  1.      Space

While aquaponics can be practiced outdoors, it is successfully carried out inside the home or somewhere similar. Since many of the plants that thrive with aquaponics take up little space and do not require much of the sunlight, you can convincingly stack your aquaponics garden in the corner of your room.

  1.      Easy To Implement

Aquaponics is so easy to implement. It can be easily assembled and disassembled. This is one of the greatest benefits that makes is standout among the most flexible farming methods. You can practically set it up anywhere in your house, and it is easy to move around if you are moving to a new house. If you are moving to a new house, make sure you crop all your plants before disassembling, after which you can take the system to your new home. Don’t forget to place it in a location that has plenty of light that will be sufficient for your plants.

  1.      Speed

Plants in an aquaponics garden can grow up to four times faster than soil-based plants. This elevated growth is as a result of the fish nutrients used in the water system. This implies your plants will mature and ripen rapidly as long as requirements of the plants are met.

Other benefits include:

Sufficient food for you and your household

It is a family enterprise in gardening

The fish and flowers add beauty to any room

Eating fresh produce

You get to fish without a fishing pole or a license

Visitors and other relatives will have fun watching the fish

If aquaponics has a drawback, it is that you should monitor the pH balance and the nutrient flow of the water supply more than you would with soil. This is simply because the soil is a natural filter that helps balance these particular issues with plants. However, such maintenance only takes a few minutes with aquaponics.

The aquaponics system of growing foods is fast developing and involves you working in the basement of your garage, your backyard, your living room or any part of your home. The size of the equipment is the major limitation!

If you choose to become a commercial farmer, then you will need a bigger space. In any case, it is dissimilar to land farming where you would require unnecessary acres of land to produce organic crops.

Preformed pond liner vs concrete construction
(0) Preformed pond liner vs concrete construction

Over half of pond owners have at one point voiced out about their dissatisfaction with pond liners and are opting for concrete construction. Yes, concrete is much more expensive than liner, yet, if built correctly can last for over 50 years. Though, a pond liner makes the soil salty by preventing the pond water from penetrating the soil, there are some drawbacks worth considering too.

Let us compare these two systems of constructing ponds.

  1.      Installation

Concrete can either be installed by yourself (as long as you have the skills) or by a professional. It is quite easy as it involves filling at least the floor of the pond in concrete, and then constructing the walls with concrete block type of material.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer – EPDM is a type of rubber liner that give great flexibility for the placement of large rocks, making it easy for building precisely as planned and dug. EPDM liners are fish-safe and easier to integrate the side of the pond with the landscaping. They do not require water-sealing cement to return the water.

  1.      Rock Position

In the concrete construction, rocks are all mortared in place. This permits small children and adults to climb on the rocks without any possible injury resulting.

With pond liners, rocks will move and shift on their own. Then, a few months later, the liner will become exposed around the pond.

  1.      Lifespan

Most liner advocates tell you the life expectancy is thirty or even forty years, but don’t specify that it is only against factory defect. They fail to mention the other issues like the disaster those heavy rocks cause on the liner or the damage from children with garden utensil or sharp sticks.

Concrete waterfalls are permanent, cheaper to operate, cheaper to maintain, easier to clean, safer, more natural looking, and longer life-expectancy. Concrete ponds are built in every climate to last more than 50 years.

  1.      Energy Consumption

The concrete pond uses the above-ground pump to produce 5, 800 gallons per hour at 356 watts. Pond liners can’t use above-ground pumps because they don’t use bottom drains. This leaves them with no other choice but to utilize sump pumps. These sump pumps were originally designed to pump water from sump pits in cellars and basements. This is why the pond liner kit comes with a sump pump.

The pump produces 5,700 gallons per hour i.e. 100 gallons less, at 911 watts of power i.e. about twice that of the above-ground pump. This implies that pond liners are not designed to save energy because at that rating, your electricity bill will increase by an extra $525 per year at $0.12/kwh. Calculating per horsepower, of all pumps, they are the greatest consumers of energy.

  1.      Bottom Drains

The use of bottom drains cannot be used by liner advocates because over half the sources for leaks in pond liners are from bottom drains. To install the drain, the liner is cut and sealants are applied with pressure rings to make a seal that it water-tight. The sealants dry out or eventually break down and seal collars warps, which results in time wasting and expensive repair.

Structurally, most concrete ponds however, are the same as concrete swimming pools - just the mechanics are different. They use larger diameter piper for the bottom drains, and so forth.

  1.      Design

While building the concrete pond, designs can be outlined and chosen at will – designs such as altering the width, length or shape of the pond. But with a pond liner, the parameters are fixed – they have already been set by the manufacturer of the kit, permitting no design liberties.


For concrete pond:

Concrete ponds are more permanent than a liner pond.

It is easier to install rockwork on a concrete pond compared to a liner pond i.e. if you want the rockwork mortared in place.

The inside contour of the pond can be built to have smooth flowing walls leading from the top to the bottom drain, making the bottom easier to keep clean.

For pond liner:

Installing a preformed liner is quicker and with a more natural result on new designs of liners that are now available.

Preformed fish pond liners are thicker and very rigid. if a small sharp edge underneath the liner has been missed they may not puncture, with a flexible liner it is more likely to leak from such an edge.

Since they are smaller and shallower, performing routine maintenance and keeping the fish pond clean tends to be easier.

Designs are already available, you don’t need to shop around and looking at all of the designs available. You already have an instant insight into what your fish pond will look like.


For concrete pond:

Repairs can be difficult and expensive

Cracking and leaks can occur as a result of improper construction or ground movement

Once a cobblestone or boulder is set in concrete, it becomes difficult to change

Causes the leaching of lime which causes higher alkalinity and pH

Maintenance, sealing, initial cost, ongoing cost, painting, and permanence, it is difficult to change concrete pond if you get tired of the design.

For preformed pond liner:

The preformed liners are more expensive and can affect those on a tight budget.

Full measurement is essential as all areas must be perfectly leveled.

You are limited to the preset designs that are available. This is not the option for you if you are after a unique design for your fish pond. However, this disadvantage can be ignored if you are satisfied with the designs that you have found. 

Is lawn fertilizer good for vegetables?
(0) Is lawn fertilizer good for vegetables?

As a gardener you should familiarize yourself with the kinds of plants and the amounts of fertilizer they require. Root plants for example, do need too much fertilizer while vine plants do not need large amounts of fertilizer. Using lawn fertilizer helps to improve the quality of the soil and release nutrients and other minerals from the soil for the plants.

The lawn fertilizer is intended to supplement the nutrients which the lawn plants will get naturally from the soil. Only a few places in the world can be said to have adequate levels of all nutrients in the soil, hence the need for supplementation through fertilizers.

Green manuring involves growing a crop that can be later ploughed back into the soil. The beauty of this is that you could grow crops like clover which can enrich the soil by capturing nitrogen from the air. This encourages one of nature’s ecological services. And, adding organic matter to the soil is the way out.

Standard lawn fertilizers contain nitrogen, potash, and phosphate. Fertilizing involve the administration of all these nutrients but in different amounts. Most lawns would require nitrogen in the maximum amount as it helps to give the grasses darker color, thickens the grasses, and also increase its growth. More importantly, don’t neglect the administration of potash and phosphate.

Is lawn fertilizer really good for vegetables?

 Synthetic fertilizer is manufactured in a chemical process while organic fertilizers have natural ingredients that provide minerals and nutrients. Unlike chemical fertilizers, natural lawn fertilizers depend on decomposition of organic matter; hence, they release their nutrient gradually into the soil.

This slow process helps prevent nutrient run-off. As the organic fertilizer decomposes, it supplies nutrients to the grass roots and help improve the quality of the grass and the soil since micro-organisms thrive better in a naturally fertilized soil.

A lawn fertilizer will help restore the carbon-nitrogen balance in the soil, preventing the mushrooms from finding excess food. Since they release nutrients more slowly, they need to be applied at a slower rate than the synthetic fertilizers. It is recommended that for every 1,000 square feet of yard, 20 lbs. should be applied twice a year in the fall and spring.

Considering a natural organic lawn fertilizer is a good choice. More so, compost products, shells of crab, seaweeds, manure, and extract of fish can also be used as natural fertilizers. Fish emulsion is one of the best natural fertilizers in the world and is also a healthy soil enhancer. Plants perform better when grown with extract of sea weed which is rich in amino acids and other nutrients. Natural fertilizers are available in market today.

Lawn fertilizers have other benefits too. As your lawn becomes healthier, it requires less watering and lawn moss tends to reduce as well. Preventing moss can also be achieved when your lawn is kept between 2 and 3 inches and the branches cut back. Lawn mushrooms can be a major issue where there is too much decaying of carbon matter in the soil. In a nutshell, the organic lawn fertilizer is better for you, the vegetables, the environment, and even the lawn. There's absolutely no reason not to use it for vegetables.


Most lawn fertilizers in the market are chemically designed to provide three essential nutrients; mostly the nutrients required by plants, vegetables, and grasses in most quantities.

Let us talk about the essential nutrients that a typical lawn needs. All fertilizers are listed by an N-P-K ratio indicating the relative quantities of Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium for example, 3-1-7.

These nutrients and fertilizers should be moderate in content, having neutral pH and must be insoluble in water. Expert recommends that you testing your lawn for pH and nutrients will give you an insight of what fertilizing technique to set up.

ðNitrogen (N)

Nitrogen is probably the most important element your lawn needs. It helps the vegetables grow and get green. Too much application can make the veggies grow too fast, making their root systems tender and also vulnerable to diseases. It will also allow for sturdy growth, more density, and thick shoots, thus creating an environment that will naturally ward off bugs and pests. Organic fertilizers will green-up your vegetables without excessive growth, which also means less need for watering. Growing alfalfa or crimson clover in your garden are good sources of nitrogen. They enhance soil fertility greatly and they need to be chopped up before the blooms appear and work the plants into the soil. They are natural alternatives to providing nitrogen that the plants need for healthy growth and produce.

ðPotassium (K)

Potassium helps protect the vegetable, making it more resistant to cold, drought, wear, disease, and heat.

ðPhosphorous (P)

Phosphorous helps seed to sprout and to establish the small vegetables quickly and strongly. Phosphorus also helps in growing strong roots for established veggies.

ðCalcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), and Sulfur (S)

Calcium helps the growth of root hairs and also increases the uptake of nitrogen. Magnesium helps the uptake of phosphorus and also enhances the photosynthetic process. Magnesium and Calcium can be supplied to the lawn by ground limestone powers. Sulfur improves the color, protein synthesis, cold tolerance, and growth of the vegetable. Sulfur addition is almost not important, unless there is an overabundance of Nitrogen.

Today’s technology has progressed tremendously but synthetics to cater for the open space around the home are no more. The natural lawn fertilizers are more effective, easy to apply, and relatively cheap. The traditional method of applying fertilizers to the soil was much the same as sowing of seeds, however, these days, fertilizers are sprayed with the aid of spray canisters. During the summer time, nutrients are broken down by microbes faster making it the best time for spraying lawn fertilizer on vegetables.

Ideal plants for koi pond
(0) Ideal plants for koi pond

It is obvious that you want your pond to look beautiful, who wouldn’t? Therefore, when selecting your plants, bear in mind that these plants will also add biological life to your koi pond, so be careful in choosing plants. This helps sustain your pond in a natural way. Make suitable climate for the growth of aquatic plants and also provide enough room/space to them.

Koi ponds make attractive garden enhancements, especially on wide areas. There are many benefits to having plants on your koi pond, one of which is the peace and beauty it’ll bring to your garden. Imagine the combination of images of beautiful koi with the sounds of flowering plants, magnificent, right?

In general, there are many suitable plants for koi ponds. Some will float, some will grow in water, and others will serve as oxygenators, a few will take root in the mud on the floor of your pond. Ideal plants for koi pond may be categorized as:

  1.      Submerged Plants/Oxygenators

Oxygenators are basically the plants that help to maintain natural balance within the water. Submerged plants like Cabomba and Anacharis are submerged beneath the surface of the water and provide food for koi as well as give them a good place to spawn. They are planted underwater in the soil or gravel and help to oxygenate your pond. This is achieved during the photosynthesis process – where carbon dioxide is pulled from the water and oxygen is released.

  1.      Flowering Water Lilies

They are the quintessence of any koi pond or water garden. Their roots grow underwater while the flowers and leaves emerge above the surface – lilies are fond of spreading across your pond surface. They help in providing shelter, shade, and aesthetic appeal.

  1.      Floating Plants

Floating plants are beautiful in nature and will provide your koi pond with lovely flowers. They do have roots, ones which don’t need soil to feed them. The root systems that float beneath the surface act like a filtration device. This is why the Water Hyacinth is used as part of the purification process by some sanitation plants. Plants, such as Water Lettuce and Water Hyacinth may also serve as a disguise/camouflage for your koi pond.

  1.      Marginal Plants

Marginal plants usually grow in shallow water; this means they flourish in the shallows of your pond or on planting shelves. Marginal plants like Irises and Cattails do best in wet soil or shallow water around the edge of a Koi pond – they grow up above the water. Water-loving grasses and various sedges will easily establish themselves within any koi pond, but you need to ensure they won’t take over the entire water surface. Marginal plants also help to transition from pond to the surrounding area gradually. Examples of marginal plants include monkey flowers, aquatic irises, water forget-me-nots, water mint, monkey flowers, cattails, water poppies, and many other species. There are numerous choices, so be specific!

  1.      Other Functional Plants

On the other hand, plants that live beneath the water line may be used as they are functionally helpful to the koi pond. They help in fighting against algae and beetles and may even provide food to your koi. They can be found easily at any pet store nearest to you. Amazingly, these plants only need minimal care and maintenance once you put them in the water.


The best way to place water plants into a koi is building a plant shelf. A plant shelf is a container where aquatic plants are suitable for planting. You can choose to build this shelf along the edge of the pond. It is wise for you to weigh down the plants with stones or large rocks so as to form a boundary between the koi and the base of the plants, preventing the risk of the koi feeding on the plants. For pond owners, be aware that predators may use the shelves as an instrument for feeding on your koi, so be smart in your construction.

Another way is to directly place the aquatic plants into the pond itself. This article has already highlighted several options to choose from when deciding on which plants to put in your pond.  


The presence of aquatic plants plays a vital role in preventing the spread of algae. Plants shade helps to reduce light penetrating into the pond and hence, limits photosynthesis of algae. By absorbing harmful nitrates, their natural “filtration” system prevents string algae from developing, which initially led to their formation in the first place.

Aquatic plants are viewed as a productive addition to any koi pond. These plants help increase oxygen production in the pond, and also help to maintain a properly aerated pond for koi. By providing shade to the koi, their presence helps keep the water cool. Moreover, submerged plants acts as a delicate surface onto which female koi attach their fertilized eggs around the spring breeding season.


  1.      Pruning Tools

This tool provides an extra reach for trimming and sculpting plants for a manicured Koi water pond.

  1.      Planting Baskets

Planting baskets will contain and grapple your plants on submerged shelves. Floating island planters can also be used to create a similar floating arrangement.

  1.      Aquatic Fertilizers

They are used to lush foliage, strengthen roots, and promote blooms in aquatic plants.

  1.      Aquatic Planting Media

It increases the ability of root systems to stay firm and get well developed for the growing season.

Tragically, many aquatic plant species are obtrusive in hot climates therefore, they are considered to be invaders. So, it is advisable to contact you water authorities and local forestry and try to plant whatever is indigenous to your environment.

How to keep koi safe from predators
(0) How to keep koi safe from predators

Koi is a very large fish that can grow to their full length if provided favorable conditions. They require a pond that can hold over five hundred gallons. The koi health largely depends on a number of factors including the amount of space they are given, the quality of the water, and how safe they are from predators. Talking about predators, they pose a threat to your pond as they are always ready to prey on your beautiful koi. These animals are not only ready but hungry and ready to devour your koi living in the pond.

Koi are difficult and expensive to acquire and that is why pond owners must provide adequate protection that these koi need to keep them thriving and healthy in your pond for a few more years. Predators such as herons, kingfishers, and raccoons are some of their many enemies. When your koi pond is not properly planned, designed, and constructed, these predators can siphon your koi pond in just one day. You have to make sure your pond is sufficiently wide and shady enough for your fish.

The predator-prevention process might take a little more of your time and effort but it is not enough that you have provided clean water, food, shade, and all without securing your pets. Constructing the right size of a pond isn’t alone sufficient enough to protect your koi. The best way to stop these predators is to think like them. Always examine your pond closely and identify the favorite spots for an escaping fish to hide then provide enhance protection in those areas.


  1.      Pond Design

The first thing to do is to make sure that your koi pond is designed bearing the koi’s safety in mind. Are you or have you been using ledges around the sides of your pond? Why not build the sides in a vertically smooth and steep manner. This will make your koi quickly dive into deeper waters each time she senses a predator around.

You koi fish will not be able to reach quickly and safely if ledges are used around the sides of your fish ponds. Incidentally, these ledges would be giving the predators (e.g. raccoon) the perfect opportunity to help them swim into the water and devour your pet. Alternatively, rock ledges can be used – all you have to do is to make sure they are far above the water line. In addition, make sure your pond is no less than eight feet deep.

  1.      Pond Netting

Pond netting can also be used to protect your fish from predators. This material is quite similar to the fishing net material and comes in various sizes and types. This should scare predators like bullfrogs out. Most frogs don't pose a threat in a koi fish pond, but it is quite different for bullfrogs as they are big (in size) enough to eat smaller koi. They not only prevent predators from consuming your koi, they also keep your fish from leaving the pond.

Besides that, in the fall, netting keeps leaves, dirt, and other debris that could pollute your water from entering your pond. Moreover, the netting protects your pond from twigs, branches, and falling leaves that could settle to the base and cause decay problems. When pond netting, it is recommended that you cover the pond, particularly at night, when most predators are most active. The only downside of pond netting is that it takes away the beauty and natural look of a pond.

  1.      Scarecrow Sprinkler Systems

These techniques work extremely well and are also productive. The scarecrow sprinkler system is designed with a built-in motion detector that sprays a blast of water when something comes close to it, scaring them away. This functions very well with blue heron, cats, raccoons, and other predators.

  1.      Heron Decoys

Giant birds such as The Great Blue Heron love feasting on koi, however, their threat is highly dependent on where you live. A single Blue Heron can consume roughly one hundred six inches tall koi! To prevent this, Heron decoys are an effective and efficient way to protect your pond fish. Herons are territorial, and they would rather go elsewhere if they see another heron in the area. Heron decoys will help protect your fish from being eaten.

  1.      Heron Scarers

Some heron scarers work on a “trip-wire” basis, it produces a loud noise that is only audible to heron but inaudible to the human ear. Others use infrared detection to sense the presence of heron and scare them away by splashing a high-pressure jet of water.

  1.      Noise

To win the most battle with predators, you simply have to keep them off balance. This makes them uncomfortable when searching for a meal. If a spurt of water can scare them off, then sound too can.

Wind chimes, outdoor speakers, or can are available options. Try playing your favorite podcast or turning on talk radio. Human voices will tell predators that there's a bigger boss around and they will more likely back off.

  1.      Planting Fake Owls or Alligator Decoys

The alligator is the predator to birds, herons, and other wildlife. Planting fake visual floating alligator, snakes or owl objects near the pond will help in warding off predators as well. When predators approach and see the dummy alligator, it triggers their defense mechanism cautioning them of the danger ahead. This will help protect your koi pretty well.

Aside from the beauty that these fishes provide, they also add elegance and character to your garden. So, it is only wise of you to cater for their health and safety.

How to build a new pond with liner
(0) How to build a new pond with liner

Most beginners prefer building their first pond using a preformed liner. They also accent the pond with decorative rocks and waterfalls. But, this is difficult to maintain and often end in disappointment.

Most of the first-time pond owners decide to construct their ponds using EPDM pond liner as PVC and Plastic pond liners sold at garden stores are not durable and tear easily. These types of liners need replacement after a year or two. But, EPDM pond liner (made by Firestone) guarantees to last for 25 years under standard conditions.

A better choice for the average pond owner is the use of a pond kit. These kits come with numerous components such as hose, falls, skimmer, and liner. They are better than the preformed but to achieve the best result, there are numerous steps to take after.

Step 1: Location

The first thing to consider when building a pond with liner is the location. Look around the surrounding from many different angles, and mark out the suitable sites before picking the best possible location.

Step 2: Size

Next, you have to consider the size of the pond you intend constructing. This will be dependent on the size of your garden and what you intend using the pond for. Larger fish such as koi and carp will require a larger pond where as a smaller fish such as goldfish or frogs will have no issue with a smaller pond.

Step 3: Dig

When you have specified the location and dimension of the pond and you are content with the size and positioning, start with the excavating process. Dig out the turf and keep digging until the required depth is achieved. Keep in mind that all sharp objects such as stones or large lumps of mud should be removed.

When digging the pond, it is recommended that you prepare one side with slope so any animal that mistakenly falls in have a way of escaping. Slop can also be a place where your fish can bask in the sun.

Step 4: Set Up the Liner

Lay a layer of sand around the hole you have dug to help protect the pond liner and prevent it from being punctured. You can also add a layer of old carpet to enhance this protection.

Once the base has been laid properly, you have to position your pond liner. You may require some help from your friends depending on the size of your pond. Your friends will hold each end and lay over the hole you have dug out carefully. Try not to damage the liner by pulling it over sharp stones or rough surfaces.

Step 5: Secure the Edges

Once the liner is place use bricks to secure the sides. Remember to leave plenty of overlap.

Step 6: Fill Your Pond

After securing the edges with some bricks it is time to fill your pond. The edges of the liner need to be pulled so it can fit neatly in the contours of the pond.

Continue adding water until the pond is full after which you cut away any excess liner but leave an overlap large enough to lay turf or slabs on to keep in place.

Now, stand back and observe the beauty you have created! If you are content with what you have created, you have to decide which plants and fish you will add in your new pond.


  1.      Rubber Pond Liners

EPDM pond liners are popularly known as garden pond liner. Although they are more expensive than plastic pond liners, yet, they tend to be more flexible and easily conform to the contours of small water features. They are strong and are easier to handle in tight spaces. This makes the rubber pond liner so popular in small garden ponds.

  1.      Synthetic Pond Liner

Nowadays when people talk about pond liners, they think of rubber and plastic pond liners that have become more popular recently. However, synthetic pond liners have allowed a number of inexperienced contractors to create inexpensive “small” ponds. Yes, small ponds because the larger the size of the pond, along with a protective underlayment, and precise ground preparation, the higher the cost of installing these liners. Synthetic pond liner also need extreme care when placing habitat features such as logs or stoners over the top of these liners.

  1.      Plastic Pond Liners

There are different plastic pond liner materials available. Plastic liners are less expensive than rubber pond liners. And, some of the less expensive plastic pond liners don’t have a long life span. Some of the plastic pond liners are technically stronger than rubber pond liners for sealing larger ponds, but these plastic pond seals tend to be more difficult and stiff when setting up small ponds. Both rubber and plastic pond liners require much care and greater time during pond construction. This is due to their fragile nature when they come in contact with large rock and heavy equipment.

Another rare consideration with plastic pond liners would be the warranty. Plastic and rubber pond liners break down with time and exposure to water, sun, and soil. The most popular warranty is about 20 years. Users need to consider the value in a warranty that discounts the price when the entire pond needs to be refurbished since most of these liners are hidden beneath soil and rocks.


Regardless of which method you choose to seal a pond, the design requirements follow simple scientific principles. A synthetic liner may produce a body of water that seems clearer over the short term but with time, this type of pond liner will tend to exhibit more problems with weed growths compared to other pond sealing methods. Enhanced pond liners require professionals to install, but they are more reliable over the long term.

How to build a new pond with concrete
(0) How to build a new pond with concrete

Concrete pond takes several weeks to complete with mixing cement and sand, transporting barrows and all other stuff makes part of the concrete pond process.

There’s nothing to be afraid of if you have never installed concrete before. There is a plethora of reference books and materials available online regarding the installation. This article will only cover some of the basics here.

Good concrete pond construction means taking the right steps as there are no shortcuts. Taking short routes or improper steps can lead to more expenses on repairs, maintenance or even replacement than the actual/initial cost of the construction. A good concrete pond construction is one that lasts longer or a lifetime. Follow these basic rules so as to get started.


Make sure the ground on which you will put the pool is completely stable. Otherwise, you may need to bed the pool into a layer of compacted hardcore. Remember that a suitable concrete pond requires a thickness of four to six inches.


After making a proper plan and figuring out the dimensions, all soil and rocks should then be dug out. Structures/forms need to be built and properly placed where concrete is to be poured. This should be done along with the proper positioning of cut-to-fit rebar (reinforcement bars).


Make the bottom of the pool by pouring concrete over a layer of hardcore. Wire mesh should be included between two layers of concrete and left to set. The shuttering must be built so that it is completely rigid and easily taken apart. The shuttering should be built with mesh embedded in the sides before adding the concrete. When the concrete is dry, remove the shuttering and coat the base and sides of the pool with a restrictive waterproof sealant.

In concrete pond construction, pouring the cement should be done in one day; unless you are constructing a very large pond then it must be poured in sections. Keep in mind that cement has to be poured in the bottom of the pool first before the sides. Next, if shelves have been dug out, pour cement there. Lastly, pour cement for the top of the pond and for the coping as well.

After these steps have been completed, it is time to let the cement cure for several days under plastic. At this stage, treating with muriatic acid helps prevent high pH levels in water, which is beneficial to plants and fish. It is also recommended that after the acid treatment you apply several coats of paint made from masonry or pools sealant, allowing each coat to dry completely.

When mixing, make sure you mix in the right proportions of the cement, sand, water, and other materials (if necessary). If wrongfully mixed, the pool will leak and cracks may occur if the foundations subside.

Ready-mixed concrete is quite easy to work because they have been made with the right proportions. Its only drawback is that you must be ready to use everything on the day it is delivered. You should also consider how you will transport your load of cement from where it is brought to the site of your pool.

Tragically, poured concrete is prone to cracking. If you do not build the pond with concrete, it is likely you may inherit such a pond. All you have to do is to discover your pond leaks and begin short-term repairs immediately.

Once you have discovered the crack, use a club hammer on a thin stone chisel to widen it- this should be done gently and slowly. Then, clean away all the debris with a stiff brush. Mix the mortar and use a trowel to fill the crack. Give it at least 48 hours to dry before applying a coat of a pool sealant to the crack to prevent harmful substances from spilling into the water.





ða wheelbarrow


ða crowbar

ða level


ða long two-by-four

ðsheets of plastic

Concrete pond construction can be an exciting experience. It is best to begin with a smaller pond before moving on to a larger project if you achieve success. The amazing thing is when you get the basics of concrete pond construction; you will find all other similar construction easy. So learn, plan, design, build, and then build again and again.

The trickiest part of building a large concrete pool is the need for shuttering. Shuttering is used to hold the hold the concrete in place while it sets. If shuttering is neglected, there is a danger that the concrete will slide down the walls, making it thinner at the top and bulging at the bottom. The shuttering is a topless, bottomless box made of wood. They are smaller in all dimensions by the thickness of the concrete and should be built inside the pool when the bottom/base has been completed.


For those having heavy clay as their garden soil, remember that it tends to shrink in the summer season simply because this type of soil isn’t good for your concrete. For preventing this, lay 3 inches (8cm) of moist builders; sand layer. If your garden soil is sandy, you don’t need to lay the layer of moist builders’ sand.

Your pond size will determine how heavy reinforcing materials would be. Larger ponds should include heavy reinforcing steel mesh or gauge wire mesh. It is also very important that the concrete leaves no spaces around the mesh by completely filling the holes. A very large pond will need steel reinforcing rods.

Common hydroponics problems
(0) Common hydroponics problems

All hydroponics systems work using virtually the same components that work in the same way. When you understand the basics and learn how they function, it will easier to maintain this system and avoid problems.

As with any system, there are problems revolving around the hydroponic gardens. These problems may be related to the nutrient solution, pest, diseases, oxygenation, and much more. This article will highlight 6 common problems related to hydroponic gardens.

  1.      Aeration

Aeration or supply of oxygen for the plants’ roots is one of the common problems with hydroponic system. If the hydroponic system is designed using PVC pipes with holes drilled for plants, then clog up aeration in the root zone can be a problem.

In order to correct this, make sure you provide proper aeration, for examples, using raised platforms or pumps suitable for hydroponics.

  1.      Nutrient

Another problem is how often to supply the aggregate nutrient. If you simply follow the interval for normal plants in soil i.e. three to five times weekly, you will eventually kill your hydroponic plants. Because of the wider air gap in hydroponics compared to soil, the nutrient solution will have a tendency to dissipate from the aggregate faster than water from soil. So by and large, get ready to supply nutrient to your plants at least once daily.

The simplicity of the system will determine how frequent nutrient solution will be added. Factors like light, humidity, temperature, types, and size of your plants and container will also determine the interval, which should basically be anywhere from one to four times daily. This means that you can't leave your hydroponic plants for a weekend without adding nutrients, they would begin to suffer.

If you must leave your garden for more than two days, simply get someone to feed the plants for the period of your absence or alternatively, have your hydroponic system automated.

  1.      Root Rot

Chlorinated water may not be the leading cause of root rot, however, if your plants are suffering from one of the following:

ðBrown root tips

ðWilt at mid-day and strong at night

ðTurning yellow and then died

ðStunted growth

Then get ready to deal with Root Rot. Treating Root Rot is more difficult than preventing it, as it is difficult to control the root once the rot has begun.

Solution: treat pond by gradual sand filtration before using it to irrigate your plants. Other successful water treatment plans include the use of ultraviolet light, chlorination, water heating, all of which are effective to stop the organism causing Root Rot (Pythium Root Rot).

  1.      Clogs

Clogs are the major problems with spray systems and drip systems. Spray/drip systems utilize high pressure pumps to force nutrient solution through extremely small openings. Pre-filters and nutrient filters can reduce the effect of clogging but will not totally eliminate it. If you use one of these systems, get ready to spend additional time each day checking and replacing any spray nozzle head if they stopped working.

  1.      Algae or Parasite Infestation

Parasites surmounts when the sterility of the system is compromised. Greenhouse or outdoor systems often experience a problem like this. However, the usual chemical or physical parasite killers for gardening will do the job. And of course, an organic method like vinegar solution or diatomaceous earth is most recommended.

This is another common hydroponics problem. Algae’s growth often starts on the sides of tanks or within the hoses connecting the pump and solution circulation reservoir. The easy solution for the most algae problems is to limit its exposure to sunlight. This is why kits purchased from stores are black or deep green. Make sure your trays, tanks, and so on are dark enough to block sunlight infiltration. If you don’t have any of these, black garbage backs can be used to line them inside or outside to block the sunlight.

  1.      Twinning

Seeds like that of lettuce are quite small even when covered with different chemicals, fungicides or packaged with nutrients. As tiny as their seeds are, two seeds can be placed in one foam plug, unintentionally or as a result of carelessness or human error. The two seeds will germinate and constantly compete for water, light, and nutrients. Commonly, one plant will survive, yet, that isn’t always the case. If the gardener does not observe two plants in one plug while planting, then a twinning effect will take place. This competition will not make bring out the best in your plant; it will lead to stunted growth and eventually death of the plant. This can be controlled by properly examining the plants and immediately removing any plant that is out of place.


Pyrethrum has been and will always be a safe and effective method of control. Yes, it is man made, but actually, it is derived from flowers. This natural compound is released by plants and extracted to be used in many commercial insecticides. The compound is safe when correctly used – dosage is also low. Azatrol is a wide range insecticide that provides an easy control method over common pests.

Quite a large number of problems with hydroponic systems originate from improper maintenance and failing equipment (mostly older ones). Hence, proper routine equipment maintenance should be carried out. It is actually not very tedious, just make it a habit and see how easy it’ll turn out to be. Adequate cleaning is the most often disregarded duty of the entire planting process. Use cleaning method to flush out the tubes, mediums, and trays when the beds are empty.

Pesticidal soaps have been in existence for centuries and still provide nontoxic and effective ways to prevent pests. The botanicals are compounds released by plants that when combined into an easy pest control method has proven highly effective. Botanicals separate naturally from exposure to water and air and are outstanding because they leave no toxic chemicals behind.

Best vegetables you can grow with hydroponics
(0) Best vegetables you can grow with hydroponics

Hydroponics involves the growing of plants without the soil but with the aid of water containing dissolved mineral nutrients. In Hydroponic, the plant’s roots are grown in an inactive growing medium like water, air, gravel or sand. Growing plants with this method are becoming more popular because of the numerous benefits over plants grown in soil. Veggies such as tomatoes and lettuce are cleaner when they are grown in the hydroponic vegetable gardening. Likewise, pesticides are rarely required when plants are grown in this system.

Hydroponic gardening is a more effective way of growing vegetables than plants grown in the soil. The hydroponic vegetables are sweeter and tenderer compared with organic vegetables. Plants can grow effectively and drastically together even if they closely grown in hydroponic vegetable gardens. Using hydroponics, you don’t have to worry about the plants needing more space as a result of the bigger roots created by the soil for the plants.

Vegetables are beneficial for our health when they are included in our daily diet. However, most people often neglect veggies because of the bitter taste of most of them. If you are among them, then you should try the veggies grown hydroponically.

If you are a vegetable gardener, here are eight you can grow with hydroponics.

  1.      Mint

Mint is in the Salvia family and tends to grow far and wide. They grow too well, making them incredible to have for your teas, beverages, and baking. Perhaps, two or three plants of mint in your hydroponic garden are sufficient enough to keep you well stocked.

  1.      Cucumbers

Cucumbers are simple to grow, tasty and perfect for many different dishes. They are best grown using a drip irrigation system.

  1.      Lettuce

This includes all varieties of lettuces except large head types, like romaine lettuces, bibb lettuces, and icebergs – any loose leaf types will be perfect too. You can easily mix varieties and have several types growing in your garden at the same time.

  1.      Leafy Greens

Just like lettuce, leafy green veggies will grow pretty well in a hydroponic system. Leafy greens like spinach thrive and also get you the added benefit of little or no sandy grit down in your spinach. Other great leafy green choices are arugula, watercress, Swiss chard, mustard greens, and kale. You can harvest all or some, leaving the rest of the plant to keep growing. Just make sure they don’t grow too big before harvesting because overgrown large greens tend to suffer from lack of air circulation.

  1.      Peppers

Peppers require similar cultural environments as with tomatoes. This makes them a great companion plant to be grown in the same hydroponic garden. Unlike tomatoes, peppers will not have to be trellised, but be prepared to stake them up as they grow to offer support for the peppers. Both hot and sweet varieties of pepper can be grown hydroponically.

  1.      Rosemary

Like basil, rosemary thrives best in warmer temperature. Though rosemary will take any longer to mature than basil, yet a healthy rosemary plant will furnish you with its pine-like flavor for a very long time.

  1.      Tomatoes

Tomatoes are versatile, nutritious, and flavorful and can be used in so many dishes. There are basically two types of vegetables, the leafy vegetables and the fruity vegetables in which tomato falls in this category. Since they are vine plants, planting in a hydroponic system (soilless planting) mix with a trellis is perfect! Tomatoes do best in drip systems.


Since tomatoes are a fruit, they are the most popular fruit frown hydroponically and can ripen as early as eight weeks and produce more fruits than when planted in soil.

  1.      Basil

By far, basil is the most popular culinary herb to be grown hydroponically. Basil varieties such as lettuce-leaf basils, cinnamon basil, purple basils, lemon basils, and sweet basils can be mixed up and planted for a full range of different flavor. They can be grown successfully in hydroponic systems.

Other vegetables that are often grown using hydroponics are:

Radishes, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, Carrots, Rhubarb, Cabbages, Squash, Celery, Broccoli, Peas, Asparagus, Onions, Eggplants, Artichokes, Cauliflowers, and Beets.

Indoor gardening is also recommended for heirloom varieties of many vegetables.


Herbs can also be grown hydroponically. They can be used in cooking to enhance the taste of recipes, in fact, fresh herbs always taste best. Herbs are a healthy addition to your diet as well. Some of the commonly grown herbs are chives, coriander, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, basil, dill, and thyme.


  1.      Growing hydroponic vegetables involves the use of little amount of water to produce a high-quality and harmless food. Hydroponics requires less water because the system is intended to recycle the water in a closed system. But, this system requires only the use of clean drinking water or rainwater.
  1.      It eliminates the need for using pesticides because there are no weeds and less pests in hydroponics gardening.
  1.      Growing hydroponic vegetables make a good landscape decoration as well.
  1.      Hydroponic gardening can be a good source of income for entrepreneurs.
  1.      Hydroponic vegetables can be grown is limited spaces like rooftops or balconies and places that have infertile soil.


The basic requirements for growing vegetables in the soil are the same in a hydroponic garden. As such, they need appropriate levels of warmth and light, and you should follow all the standard procedures for protecting and caring for each plant. Hydroponic grow lights are available to provide sufficient light that aids photosynthesis. The kit includes all the parts like the grow lights, reflectors, and digital ballast. Many hydroponic gardeners prefer LED grow lights just because they are portable and don’t overheat.

There are many types of hydroponics systems available, each having their own preferences and detriments. It is left for you to choose the one that best fits your need and environment.