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Old 05-25-2012, 03:35 AM   #4
Diana
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Soil has some very specific terminology, like the Latin names of fish and the botanical names of plants, and the equivalent of common names.

Sand, Silt and Clay are specific soil particle sizes. In the right blend the mix is called Loam, or some variation such as sandy loam or clay loam. None of these have anything to do with the organic matter (peat moss or anything else) in the soil.

Loam is a common name used to mean nice soil, but usually the person using this term has not idea if the soil is technically loam according to soil scientists.

For gardening in a pond, and planting pond plants in containers try your garden soil. Do not add too much compost. Perhaps 90% soil, and just 10% compost. The compost can be peat moss. If you are using home made compost make sure it is well composted to the point that you cannot tell what it used to be.

A quickie test of garden soil to see if it is suitable:
Put some soil and water in a jar with a tight lid and shake it really well.
If all the soil settles out in just a couple of hours that is good.
If the water is reasonably clean and pretty much clear in those couple of hours that is good.
If the water is cloudy that is not very good, but give it one more chance. If the cloudiness has not settled by the next day do not use this soil. It has too many very fine particles and will cloud the pond water.
If the water is clear but has turned brown, red or yellow (or almost any variation) then there is organic matter in the soil that is releasing tannins. This will probably not be a problem with a small amount of soil in a large pond, but might be a problem if your pond is a very small one. A bit of a tint is fine. You might also see stuff floating in the jar, especially when you first shake it up. Organic matter will usually float until it soaks up enough water to sink. If there is a lot, or it is large pieces it can be removed pretty easily.
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