Fertilizing

JoecdApril 8, 2014

Today I repotted my water lilies. I mixed a 8oz cup of earth works organic fertilizer w a 5 nitrogen rating on it with about 6 8oz cups of a very thick Clay soil. Do you think I made a mistake? Thank you for your advice.

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chas045(7b)

Well; I'm one of those people that suspect that one has wide latitude in a pond and doing most things are going to be OK. I'm not even sure whether you were concerned with the clay or the fertilizer. Further, since you said that you were REpotting, I gather that you may have done something slightly similar before and it must have worked out so you will be fine. Clay material is often used in ponds. Natural ponds form over clay because it can keep the water (pond) in. Sounds fine to me.

That leaves the fertilizer. Your nitrogen ratio is low which will make some folks here happy, while I don't care, and I don't worry about the unmentioned nitrogen source either. But in spite of the above, I do feel like hitting the caps lock before typing 'holy cow, that's a lot of fertilizer'. I hope the clay will hold and isolate it from the roots.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 7:02AM
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Joecd

Thank you for replying. I was unsure with the fertilizer. I thought the water would dilute it but was a little nervous of putting that much nitrogen in the water.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 9:40AM
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chas045(7b)

Well, the thing is, you may be right. It depends on how big your pond is and how many plants you have and whether their roots are in the main circulation area of this pond; and whether the clay will slow down the release of the fertilizer. I was actually more concerned about damage to the lily roots from the direct high chemical concentrations. While many here are worried about excess nitrogen, I believe it to be a minimal temporary issue. Yes, there could be an increased algae growth, but the regular plants will love it too and scarf it up; problem solved.

If you had a couple extra lily clumps from your divisions, I would suggest that you save them (perhaps right in the pond) until you know that you haven't immediately killed the potted ones.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 1:41PM
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Joecd

That's a great idea. I have a whole bucket full of Lilly roots. They were given to me by a friend. I don't have much growing in pond yet. I live in pa and water temp is still around 50 degrees. I put my pond in last August. I have three bogs and one potted Lilly at the moment! The pond is approx 4000 gallons. I very much appreciate you helping me with this. I do have one more question. I have had 4 small leaks due to large boulders that I was to rough w during installation. What should I expect as far as water loss each day during this time of the year. It's in a semi sun location w a 40 inch waterfall. I'm just paranoid that there are more leaks. I'm at about 1/16 to an 1/8 loss now in a 24 hr period.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 2:35PM
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chas045(7b)

You have a nice big pond there. How do you know that you have these rock damaged leaks? I mean, if you can see them then you should be able to patch them. If you can see dampness, then you could probably get (dig) down to them and patch. Of course, this assumes you can move the rocks. Did King Kong help with the install?

A 40 inch waterfall is really big too. I could imagine that creating a big splash loss area or conversely a complete slow non-splash effect. Any chance the losses are from splashing? And of course there is always the loss from non-obvious liner folds creating a siphon or a leak in the plumbing.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 3:06PM
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Joecd

Had a back hoe place most of the boulders. I did repair the holes already. When I placed them down in one area I must of been not as soft as I should of been. I found these holes by just searching and finding wet areas. Do u think that 1/16 to 1/8 max in a 24 hr period time is enough of an allowance for evaporation and other natural causes?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2014 at 3:32PM
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chas045(7b)

Sorry, I forgot to check for your response. I suspect that an eighth inch loss is probably not natural. But I also suspect that plants at the pond edge (depending on layout) can withdraw a significant volume so 'natural' is a flexible term.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 8:50AM
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Joecd

Thank you for your response again. Looks like I'm starting to get a few sprouts out of the lily plant! So maybe I didn't burn the roots by over fertilizing. At the moment I have about eight toads that found the pond and they are so noisy. The pond is very close the house and you can hear everywhere! They are laying eggs everywhere in my Boggs. Do you know how long they will stick around for?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 2:13PM
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