Watercress!

goodkarma_(5b)July 8, 2010

Hi everyone. I have a 5K+ pond and I just have to give a big thumbs up to Watercress and all that it has done for my pond.

I have a bottom drain to settling pond. A 300 gallon skippy type filter, a 57 watt UV and two pumps that turn the pond over about every hour give or take. My source water is high in phosphates and I change about 10 percent every month. In the old days I had a pressure filter, the same skimmer with UV, settling pond, DIY small degassing chamber, twice weekly water changes and GREEN WATER! lol

Since I added floating planters with roughly 50 square feet of WC in the main pond, and WC in the filter and settling pond, and reduced water changes my water has been crystal clear with NEGLIBLE STING ALGAE since early spring. It is amazing and I highly recommend it. I only have 3 large Koi and two shubby mixes but I feed them at least from 4 to 8 ounces of high quality home made food from April to October.

I have attached a pic so that you can see that it is an attractive plant. It is in the right hand corner of the pic in a floating planter. The other floating planters also have some. Jenny (Koijoyii) uses it and also has it growing in the soil. It is an amazing pond plant and I wanted to share my experience with it.:)

Regards,

Lisa

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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Lisa, isn't it great stuff for using up the nutrients in the water!
Have you lifted it up to see the myriad of roots it has working for it, there are thousands of those fine thread like roots just sucking up the waste out of the water.

I cut the watercress back about every two weeks. Just the overgrown tops and that causes the root ball to put out more roots and become even more dense.
It's a wonderful pond cleaner for sure.
I find a good clump of watercress, plus a few water lettuce or water hyacinths, are the best plants for keeping the water clear and the fish happy.
"Horton"

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 7:36AM
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hardin(7 SE OK)

Gorgeous pond and beautiful water. I've had a good summer so far. Have only had one moment where water became murky. For the first time, my WH has produced baby plants. Yee Haw! Maybe I can grow it after all.

I wish I could find watercress though. I have looked and looked in the produce section and no luck yet. Course with our hot humid weather and pond in full sun, I'm not sure I'd be able to grow it anyway. Darn it.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:54AM
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frogman4_gw(6)

I agree with you all 100% same experience here. Northern ponders have a hard time in the spring since WH and water lettuce are very susceptible to frost and will not flourish till the water warms up. This is why Watercress is the solution, it does excellent in conditions that these plants will not. I'm amazed how many experienced ponders suffer with suspended algae and string algae that have not tried this as a solution. The fact providing you can find it one bunch that cost 1.50 will be all you need, makes it all the better. In the south in extreme heat it will die back but will take off once the weather cools.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 10:42AM
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chas045(7b)

Beautiful pond! I use lots of water cress in my stream. No one has yet mentioned that it does much better in flowing water. The source is usually an upscale market.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 3:15PM
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justplaindon

It's also easy to grow this from seed if you can't locate it at a local market. You can give them a little bit of an early start indoors and move them outside to your pond. Depending on what you have in your pond, it's also cool to go grab a little fresh water cress (before it gets large and bitter) to throw in a salad.

L8r,
Don

Here is a link that might be useful: Currentlly in bloom in the greenhouse

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 3:25PM
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flagtruck(75570/NETX/Z8)

OMG Don...those orchids are absolutely beautiful. Who needs a pond when you have all this beauty to look at?

horton I will start looking for watercress, I know it's not at my grocer. I will try Daves garden and here and see if anyone has some seeds for sale or trade. Your pond is beautiful. All your plants look nice and healthy and happy

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 4:56PM
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koijoyii(NE Ohio)

Hi Lisa:

Your pond is always so beautiful in pics but even better up close and personal. After seeing how gorgeous your watercress island looks I decided to give the watercress in my skippy filter a hair cut and place some more on my floating islands. The cuttings I took already had roots. When I plopped them onto the islands I noticed thousands of baby water striders. These islands seem to be breeding grounds for frogs and insects. I just love your ingenuity. I not only have koi grandchildren I now have water strider grandchildren. lol I have a feeling they are the reason for my beautiful koi babies too.

Jenny

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 4:57PM
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brodpro

Hi there,
Can anyone give me any tips on how to successfully grow watercress in a pond? I have some that I bought at my local nursery in small plastic pots. I transferred these to larger terracotta pots and put them into my pond about two weeks ago, but now the leaves are turning yellow and it looks like they might be dying. I was worried about the potting soil staining the water or floating to the top, so I put some sand over the top of the soil. Is this what's killing it?
Thanks for any tips/suggestions.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 8:44PM
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diggery(z8)

Hi brodpro. The short answer is toss the pot along with the potting soil and get the watercress into the water where it will root & multiply and function as a filter. Watercress can be persnickety but it's easy to grow given the right conditions. It does best in cool temp moving water so a stream is ideal. I just tuck sprigs under rocks where water is flowing & leave it alone. It dies back in the intense summer heat here but reappears when cooler weather approaches and is back every spring.

Btw, I buy mine in the produce dept of the grocery store for a buck & some change. It will root almost overnight once in the pond. I also toss a few sprigs in my skippy & it is totally obscured in short order. It fares better there as the skippy is shaded during the heat of the summer.

No room for a floating island in my pond (actually three puddles that flow together) so I had to get creative. I took one of those rectangular foam pads meant for kneeling in the garden, drilled it full of holes & slipped a sprig of watercress in each hole. I anchored my tiny makeshift island at the base of my waterfall (a delusion of grandeur, more like a cascade). The foam kneepad was soon hidden by the watercress. Been doing this for years with excellent results. Can't beat a successful project for under $3

On the other hand, water hyacinth flat out refuses to perform for me yet I stubbornly continue to buy it year after year. It will live - and bloom even! - but it will.not.multiply. Makes me crazy to see ponders here tossing it by the bucket load on the compost pile.

Good luck with your watercress. It's mid-spring for you isn't it?

blessings,
~digger

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:24PM
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pcan

I tried WC the first year in floating islands in the pond in full sun. It turned yellow as brodpro's did. This year I put it in the shade in moving water of the skippy and it did great.

I think the key is shade and moving water, planted bare root.

I also bought mine from the local market. The checker asked "wow what are you cooking with all this watercress" LOL

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:59AM
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diggery(z8)

"the key is shade and moving water, planted bare root"

precisely, pcan - that's it in a nutshell

aside: and why haven't we seen any pics of your glorious pond this year, hmm? I know you've been furiously snapping pics, so please do share

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 12:51AM
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bluegirl_gw

diggery, back when I had water hyacinth (it's highly illegal in my area now) it thrived in alkaline brackish water. It's a shame such draconian prohibitions were passed--it's a fine water purifier, a beautiful plant & excellent mulch when restricted to a home pond.

I also experimented with it during the winter because so many northern growers complained about how to keep it alive until spring. It did well in a pot planted in heavy clay kept saturated with a deep saucer under it.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 11:04PM
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diggery(z8)

Thanks bluegirl. I've always got a plant experiment or two or three going on at my puddle so adding this to my list.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 10:41AM
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