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A container water garden is a small aboveground pond that can provide a permanent source of water for birds, chipmunks, and squirrels. Even tree frogs may utilize a container that has 18" - 24" sides to lay their eggs among plants floating on the water's surface. To enable small birds to drink from the container, either keep the water level close to the rim or provide a branch on which they can land and perch.
Container: Most types of non-porous container will do. Select the appropriate size in ratio with the size of plants. Avoid containers that previously held wine or whiskey, as the wood can hold bacteria. Use a liner if you desire that style of container.
Plant Selection: Strive for a balanced selection of water plants—e.g., floating leaf aquatics, oxygenating grasses, bog, and marginal water plant species. Four to five plants can fill a pot that has a 16" diameter and is about 12" deep. For a focal point, a larger plant can also work.
Note: Do not use potting soil—it has too many organics and will just float. Use fertilizer sparingly; water and soil provide plants with the nutrients they need.
Water and Pot Maintenance:
There are several options for mosquito deterrents:
Prevent algae by covering two-thirds of the water's surface using water lilies, floaters, or other plants that shade the surface of the water. Reducing the amount of sunlight that penetrates the pot keeps the water cooler and starves the algae for sunlight. Drain and clean the pot, then pare down overgrown plants when two inches of decomposed matter builds on the bottom of the pond pot.