• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • r ranson
  • Jay Angler
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • Leigh Tate
  • paul wheaton
  • Nicole Alderman
master gardeners:
  • Timothy Norton
  • Christopher Weeks
gardeners:
  • Saana Jalimauchi
  • Jeremy VanGelder
  • Ulla Bisgaard

In Progress: From nasty surface runoff to native plants and minnows

 
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I’m taking the risk of publishing a project in progress that is currently extremely unglamorous.
My mom’s little patch of land where I am currently living has been very near the bottom of the local drainage basin, so that a lot of lawns and driveways send their rain right here. The soil is largely red clay. We had a pond dug near the back and bottom of our patch to help control flooding, and it seems to be working so far. Now to cultivate, and control how the water gets there.
IMG_20230711_081649417.jpg
The pond first dug
The pond first dug
IMG_20230717_084215999_HDR.jpg
Clear water that seeped up into the newly dug pond
Clear water that seeped up into the newly dug pond
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Amphibian life is flourishing
IMG_1601.jpeg
Baby amphibians in a pond that is clearing up
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have planted a few Sagittaria latifolia, Pontederia Cordata, Ceratophyllum demersum, Limnobium spongia, Azolla caroliniana, and Typha latifolia. I also planted a packet’s worth of marshmallow seeds. I look forward to seeing which plants (hopefully all) survive and grow. I anticipate needing to buy more, but some plants might not thrive here and others might boom in population.  I think the water is way too high in nutrients after this last rain, based on bacteria and algae activity. (More on that later.)
IMG_1757.jpeg
planting water plant in a small pond
IMG_1763.jpeg
water plants in bags waiting to be planted in a pond next to two shovels
IMG_1767.jpeg
plants along the shore of a pond
IMG_1759.jpeg
the pond with a bunch of plants on its shores
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
These are the two main inlets of water onto our property. They bring with them revolting brown clumps and biofilms.
IMG_1705.jpeg
disgusting brown water that flows into the pond through Inlet A
Inlet A
IMG_1780.jpeg
As if that wasn't revolting enough, brown water and biofilms come into the water from Inlet B
Inlet B
IMG_1784.jpeg
the water is somewhat acidic
Inlet B continued
IMG_1776.jpeg
the biofilm piles up lower in inlet B
Inlet B continued
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The frogbit is spreading!
IMG_1830.jpeg
Frogbit growing in the pond
IMG_1831.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_1831.jpeg]
IMG_1834.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_1834.jpeg]
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Some of the hornwort unfortunately is struggling against brown algae
IMG_1828.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_1828.jpeg]
IMG_1829.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_1829.jpeg]
 
Posts: 16
Location: Zone 10b, SoCal
6
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nice!  Cattails would go nuts around that.
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I hope so! I planted a few and we’ll see how they do; I may order a bunch more when finances allow
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In the main pond, the hornwort and flourishing tadpoles have attracted a banded water snake, the frogbit continues to thrive, and lots of long jawed orbweavers have taken up residence along the margins.
IMG_2062.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_2062.jpeg]
IMG_2027.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_2027.jpeg]
IMG_2019.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_2019.jpeg]
IMG_2015.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_2015.jpeg]
IMG_2014.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_2014.jpeg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 132
Location: SE USA, Piedmont uplands, Zone 8a/b
82
home care tiny house cooking writing
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Harmony Dybala wrote:I’m taking the risk of publishing a project in progress that is currently extremely unglamorous.


I'm so glad you risked it, and I hope the pictures keep coming, whatever happens.
It's immeasurably helpful to see the unglamorous (challenges and setbacks) alongside the wins.

I especially love seeing the system grow in complexity (predators coming in, competition)!
 
master steward
Posts: 11588
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
6468
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Harmony Dybala wrote:

I think the water is way too high in nutrients after this last rain, based on bacteria and algae activity.


Some of the yuck can be from pollen - the pollen levels are incredible this year on my homestead. So yes, it looks yucky but it's nature's yuck.

Getting anything growing that you can harvest is the best way I've found to decrease the nutrient load. I use Lemna "duck weed" which I can scoop off and put as mulch on some of my shrubs. It picks up a lot of algae as well as I scoop it up. My idea is to transfer those nutrients from the water onto plants/soil/microbes, so they don't overwhelm the pond.
 
Devin Randall
Posts: 16
Location: Zone 10b, SoCal
6
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love seeing all the tadpoles!
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I observe a pattern now of rain clearing the water, then causing a brown goop and sheen bloom the next day which generally lasts several days until the next rain. (We’re in a rainy season right now.) The plants, arthropods, and amphibians seem to be unharmed by this long term, but I need to shift the balance of power from algae and bacteria to plants if I want the ponds system to be hospitable to fish and people. I’m planning to reinforce the azolla moss (which has mostly been washed away by overflow) and add cattails and duckweed as recommended by Mr. Randall and Mr. Angler.

I think the Cattails, strategically placed, will also help with a secondary concern of bank erosion, which has made some beautiful earth formations but I don’t want to continue into the walkway.

A frog has started diligently guarding the tadpoles everyday, and I haven’t seen the snake again since the frog made his or her appearance. A coincidence, or has the zealous parent succeeded in intimidating him?!
IMG_2100.jpeg
Main pond inlet yesterday right after rain
Main pond inlet yesterday right after rain
IMG_2107.jpeg
Small pond yesterday after rain
Small pond yesterday after rain
IMG_2133.jpeg
Erosion of the main pond
Erosion of the main pond
IMG_2128.jpeg
Hornwort today, catching the gunk
Hornwort today, catching the gunk
IMG_2163.jpeg
Small pond today showing gunk-bloom
Small pond today showing gunk-bloom
IMG_2129.jpeg
Frog
Frog
IMG_2152.jpeg
Frog with dragonflies
Frog with dragonflies
IMG_2144.jpeg
Can you spot the silt-colored giant tadpoles?
Can you spot the silt-colored giant tadpoles?
IMG_2146.jpeg
Spot the giant tadpole!
Spot the giant tadpole!
 
pollinator
Posts: 889
Location: East of England/ Northeast Bulgaria
316
5
cat forest garden trees tiny house books writing
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If I saw the "giant tadpole" in our pond, I would think it was a newt! It looks like the ones we get here in the UK.
 
Jay Angler
master steward
Posts: 11588
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
6468
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes - I would be worried about that erosion too.

We needed a culvert in our "winter creek" - OK, it's a glorified gully, but that's what the map calls it. We have not shortage of rocks, so I looked for large, flat ones and reinforced both areas at the ends of the culvert. This has worked great, and there are a few more areas that would benefit from the right sort of rocks as we now have geese and ducks who consider this their winter playground.

Water doesn't simply "pour" - it swirls and forms eddies and in areas where the water enters and exits anything that will affect its speed, can result in either deposition of material or erosion. Plants may be enough to spread and slow the water (I'm thinking cattail-sized plants with a significant root system).

However, consider where there might be spots to install a wimpy version of a "beaver dam analog" which is wood posts hammered into the ground across the waterway, and then small branches are woven through the posts to make like a basket to slow the water. The true version would actually allow water to build up behind it, but I'm just looking at the "slow and spread" level, particularly while the plants are getting established. If you use soft wood, it will rot away soon enough.

(FYI - I'm a female "Jay" - no offence taken, as I'm well aware that in your area of the US, Jay is always a male name.)
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Today the sun is hot and bright. The small pond is smelling horrid and looking very gummed up, but there were exciting new animal-spottings in the main pond!

I had a very hard time catching them on camera, but there are very tiny silvery fish among the tadpoles. The slender shapes and pectoral fins mark them apart from the amphibians.

(Also, pardon me, Ms. Angler 😅 I really should check bios if I’m gonna use honorifics)
IMG_2172.jpeg
Garter snake
Garter snake
IMG_2187.jpeg
Azolla turned red by hot sun
Azolla turned red by hot sun
IMG_2191.jpeg
Damselfly
Damselfly
IMG_2181.jpeg
Baby fish!?
Baby fish!?
IMG_2206.jpeg
Small pond
Small pond
 
master pollinator
Posts: 1637
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand (Cfb - oceanic temperate)
510
duck trees chicken cooking wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is so cool, watching nature claim a formerly "abandoned" and mostly lifeless space. I was thinking about the brown goo and smell, signs of an excess of nutrients in the runoff. The old-timers used to put a bale of straw into a pond when it went smelly from spring runoff. You might want to try that, or a burlap bag filled with biochar. There's a guy I know in Michigan who is cleaning up polluted ponds and small lakes with biochar by putting bags in with weights attached to sink them about halfway down. He puts floating markers on them and hauls them up after a few months, spreads the biochar on farmland, and puts fresh material in.

Putting straw bales at the mouths of the inlets would trap sediment, too. Just a thought.
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good news and bad news from the ponds today.
I was delighted to find crawdads, an aquatic snail in the main pond, and to get a picture of a weird swimming invertebrate with pinchers. I was saddened to see a bullfrog that had been wounded, and just when I had skimmed the biofilm off the small pond and transplanted some tadpoles to it in hopes they would help de-scum it, the Texas heat got the best of the water and dried it down to mud. So, I moved a bunch of beached frogbit from the small, dry pond to the big one. I am now looking for plants that will do better than floating frogbit at managing both flooded and merely muddy conditions.

At the big pond, I have gotten started on the bank reinforcement with some old bricks, irises, a wild violet I dug up at my last home and had been keeping in a pot, some Turk’s Cap from a good friend’s garden, and some lovely Ageratum from a local garden store. (I haven’t gotten pictures of all the new plants yet, but I will update tomorrow.) As the rains come down again this evening, let’s see how the defenses hold!
IMG_2231.jpeg
Crawdad at the main pond inlet
Crawdad at the main pond inlet
IMG_2240.jpeg
Underwater Snail
Underwater Snail
IMG_2264.jpeg
Mr. Weird—please reply if you have any idea what he is!
Mr. Weird—please reply if you have any idea what he is!
IMG_2227.jpeg
Wounded bullfrog
Wounded bullfrog
IMG_2245.jpeg
Tadpoles being transported before I knew I was dooming them to dry up
Tadpoles being transported before I knew I was dooming them to dry up
IMG_2255.jpeg
The mud hollow formerly known as the small pond
The mud hollow formerly known as the small pond
IMG_2267.jpeg
Crawdad husk
Crawdad husk
IMG_2263.jpeg
Bank rebuilding in progress
Bank rebuilding in progress
IMG_2223.jpeg
More tadpoles
More tadpoles
IMG_2234.jpeg
Tadpole with legs!
Tadpole with legs!
 
Posts: 11
Location: Central VA
2
kids foraging building
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm sorry - is this thread in real-time? This progress seems so fast! And how the heck did those fish get in there?!

This is so encouraging. I've been thinking on and off of the zen of accepting our present reality - poisons, toxins, and all - and offering it back to nature. It feels embarrassing to offer her such poor sacrifices, but she is the only one who can make them good and whole again. What are we to do with the zillions of miles of asphalt roads, the mounds and microfilaments of plastic, the too-rich seas and air and the impoverished soils? I've been thinking, more and more, exactly the kind of thing that you're doing with your neighbor's runoff.

Very inspiring - please continue to share!
 
pollinator
Posts: 124
Location: Southern Manitoba...bald(ish) prairie, zone 2b/3
44
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Very cool.  Thanks for sharing.  

I was thinking along the lines of Phil in terms of something to act as a filter at the inlets.  In some waterworks, I believe a sand filter would be used to trap sediment and provide space for life which would use some of the excess nutrients.  Creating something akin to a bog with plants that will filter could also work.

I too enjoy the return to life and your excitement at seeing the progress.
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you, Mason Berry, and everyone! (I really didn’t expect this much attention)

It’s not quite real time: looking back, I realize I didn’t date the earliest photos and for that I apologize! The hole for the main pool was dug in July of last year, and there was a latency period,  which I can take no credit, while the pond sealed, established a balance with the water table, and got its biome started.

About a month ago, I started planting and documenting the cultivation on this thread, and the updates since then have been pretty much real-time.

It’s been wonderful seeing how quickly the plants have taken hold, and how diverse and vibrant the animal life has become! There’s so much we can’t control, but we can be faithful to our roles and see what good God brings out of everything. The resilient organisms around us are capable of so much regeneration if we cooperate and give them a chance to do what they’re designed for.

The new edge plants came through the rain alright, and although I wasn’t able to get good photos of them, I saw legs on large tadpoles today and the banded water snake again.
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Photos from this morning:
IMG_2318.jpeg
The small part-time pond: it had no water just yesterday!
The small part-time pond: it had no water just yesterday!
IMG_2323.jpeg
Main pond viewed from inlet side
Main pond viewed from inlet side
IMG_2324.jpeg
Eroding inlet edge with new planting, clearly needing more
Eroding inlet edge with new planting, clearly needing more
IMG_2327.jpeg
First bloom on the Sagittaria!
First bloom on the Sagittaria!
IMG_2330.jpeg
Frogbit washed ashore and caught up in a crawldad mound
Frogbit washed ashore and caught up in a crawldad mound
IMG_2332.jpeg
Ageratum
Ageratum
IMG_2339.jpeg
I love the ripple pattern in the shallows’ silt
I love the ripple pattern in the shallows’ silt
 
Posts: 1010
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
206
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Harmony, looks like a very successful project!  

I have a good-sized pond and I would NOT recommend cattails.  They grow rampantly, require yearly maintenance, and are very difficult to pull out, and have tried to fill in the sides of my pond.  Pulling them never entirely gets the roots, and they double and triple with ease.  It was the pond-building technique around here, and they were already on my pond when I bought the place.  I rue the day they ever planted those things.  Where I have managed to keep them at bay, where there roots were needs to be dug out by big equipment which I am not in the mood to pay for someone to do it.

You'll see volunteer plants/pond vines/duckweed that blow in, are brought in on the feet of birds and ducks.  Research whatever shows up because a lot of it is traveling around the world helped by bird feet, like red Azola.  A lot of them will also fill in your pond unless they are immediately dealt with.  A year skipped will allow them to grow and overtake that area.

I really enjoy my pond, but it's a labor of love - a lot of labor!!

:-)
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Toad eggs today!
IMG_2418.jpeg
Toad nursery!
Toad nursery!
IMG_2415.jpeg
Close-up showing corkscrew shape
Close-up showing corkscrew shape
IMG_2409.jpeg
Close up showing eggs
Close up showing eggs
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rain has been kicking our butts out here. It just keeps coming, storms every couple of days with trees blown down, power outages, and flooding. Pond is going to have to deal with it for now.
IMG_2569.jpeg
Pond with rainwater
IMG_2568.jpeg
Pond getting deeper and clearer
 
Jay Angler
master steward
Posts: 11588
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
6468
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Harmony Dybala wrote:Rain has been kicking our butts out here. It just keeps coming, storms every couple of days with trees blown down, power outages, and flooding. Pond is going to have to deal with it for now.

Mother Nature's ponds are pretty resilient. Once the weather calms down, I'm sure you will find ways to give her a helping hand.

With that bad of weather, it may help you see where changes and reinforcements are most needed. One thing the experts seem to talk about is the need to "slow and spread" the water. So for example, this picture, IMG_2323.jpeg shows a fairly straight channel. You might find ways to dig that to be more of an "s" curve, or several curves with flat rocks protecting the banks where the water pressure will be greatest during storms.
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I miss the flooding rains.
IMG_2764.jpeg
[Thumbnail for IMG_2764.jpeg]
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I worked on using rocks and new plants to control water flow when the next rains come and tried to mitigate evaporation, but the fish died off night before last. For now, this is the story of how I had a pond.

My suspicions: just not deep enough to maintain a stable thermal mass against the heat of the summer sun. Someday I would like to dig a bigger pond, taking into account what I have learned about surface runoff erosion, filter plants, and flooding.
IMG_2888.jpeg
chickens scratching in the inflow channel to a pond
IMG_2765.jpeg
some water plants from a tiny pond
IMG_2889.jpeg
a pond that is almost dry
IMG_2870.jpeg
Foot for scale
Foot for scale
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Still, I have plants doing their best
IMG_2891.jpeg
A littile plant in a pond that is almost dry
IMG_2890.jpeg
Pickerel Weed going about its blooming regardless of this disaster
Pickerel Weed going about its blooming regardless of this disaster
IMG_2893.jpeg
Sagittaria doing just fine
Sagittaria doing just fine
 
Derek Thille
pollinator
Posts: 124
Location: Southern Manitoba...bald(ish) prairie, zone 2b/3
44
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Die-off could be temperature related, but it could also be a lack of oxygen.  Of course, if it dries to nothing, some organisms will definitely die off.  Perhaps a few shovels removed from the pond bed might be enough for it to manage through the next dry season.  Having more plants on the south side shading the ponds could also help with evaporation.  I'd look to find what is a native pond / stream edge plant that could fill that niche.

Nature is incredibly resilient.  You may be surprised at what comes back the next time things fill up.
 
Jay Angler
master steward
Posts: 11588
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
6468
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, the pond doesn't have to be deep evenly. In fact, many "growing" ponds are done as ledges and steps with 1 to 2 foot drops straight down at the edge of flat ledges. The ledges could be supported with rocks, but I've seen pictures of this sort of thing that aren't.

We needed a settling pond to slow run-off up-slope of a pipe under a farm lane. It has a very deep area near the pipe inlet, but I was concerned that animals might fall in and not be able to get out, so we sloped one side up slowly to the west. Unfortunately a tree came down and blocked my access, so it's having to manage itself at the moment.
 
pollinator
Posts: 316
Location: Central Texas
89
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It’s not unusual in Texas this time of year to lose an inch per day. Even in rainy east Texas you have to have it pretty deep to make it through July / august heat. A lot of the runoff plants you want to absorb won’t die off or will have dropped seed etc so next rain event they should continue helping.


So far every water plant I have showed up on its own. Tons of cattails in my main runoff. They are really good a filtering everything because it’s not the most clean ditch/valley. But it’s pretty clean after going through 100-150’ of cattail.

Still a bummer to have it go dry and lose fish. I lost a lot year before last.
 
Rusticator
Posts: 8095
Location: Missouri Ozarks
4271
6
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Eek... poor fish & plants. Is there any way that you can dig it deeper, while it's so low?
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, I can get down in there and do some old-fashioned shoveling while it’s low. I suppose the soil in there would be pretty fertile for building up compost.
 
Jane Mulberry
pollinator
Posts: 889
Location: East of England/ Northeast Bulgaria
316
5
cat forest garden trees tiny house books writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So sorry you lost your fish. I don't think there's any way to know how deep will be deep enough until something like this sadly happens.
 
Harmony Dybala
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: East Texas, USA
130
books chicken fiber arts sheep homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
On Saturday it was a mudhole with dead fish like you saw, but Ex-hurricane Beryl hit on Monday, filling the pond completely! To my great astonishment this morning, lots of smaller fish survived the die-off, and there’s already a new cohort of tadpoles!
IMG_2929.jpeg
Tuesday the pond is full again!
Tuesday the pond is full again!
IMG_2987.jpeg
Fish!
Fish!
IMG_2970.jpeg
Pickerelweed
Pickerelweed
IMG_2981.jpeg
Teeny tiny tadpoles
Teeny tiny tadpoles
IMG_2976.jpeg
Frogbit I found swamped on the edge and returned to the water
Frogbit I found swamped on the edge and returned to the water
 
Jay Angler
master steward
Posts: 11588
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
6468
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nature is soooo... amazing! That's suggesting to me that if you can just get a few deep areas dug that hold water longer and keep the mud damp, lots of life will survive. This is an experiment - some of the things you wish you had won't end up being able to cope with "boom and bust", but there are plants and animals out there designed to do just that!
 
Jane Mulberry
pollinator
Posts: 889
Location: East of England/ Northeast Bulgaria
316
5
cat forest garden trees tiny house books writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am amazed at those fish!
 
Poop goes in a willow feeder. Wipe with this tiny ad:
Learn Permaculture through a little hard work
https://wheaton-labs.com/bootcamp
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic