Aquatic soil and mesh baskets

Aquatic soil and mesh baskets

Plants are ready potted for a pond:

  • Use aquatic soil and mesh baskets for any plants being submerged into water.
  • We root our shelf pond plants and waterlilies into clay aquatic soil and a basket with mesh holes on the sides and base of the basket.
  • These are ready for you to lower into the water when they arrive.
  • Lower the baskets on a slight tilt so one basket edge goes in at a time.

Aquatic soil:

  • We pot our pond plants and waterlilies into a Boughton clay/loam mix soil.
  • Aquatic soil is available in bags in most garden centres and should be brown in colour and not black.
  • And should clump as a ball if squeezed by hand. It should not be too fine or sandy.
  • If buying online try Pitchcare. The Boughton County loam 25kg bag is very similar to the mix they make for us.
  • For waterlilies their Kaloam has slightly more clay content.
  • Or you can use clay soil from the garden if you have it.
  • You must not use ordinary, multipurpose potting compost.
  • It would be too nutrient-rich with organic matter.
  • Potting compost may also contain peat (which will continue to decompose when submerged in water and rot the plant's roots) or coir (which will float away when submerged).
  • When you divide or repot pond plants into new, larger mesh baskets with aquatic soil you should add a fertiliser ball too.

Pond plants need to be in Mesh baskets (not solid pots):

  • Pond plants should always be prepared in mesh aquatic baskets.
  • The mesh holes in the baskets allow water to circulate through the soil.
  • This allows the transfer of oxygen and nutrients between water and plant.
  • Aquatic soil should not wash away through these fine holes as it is a dense clay not a fine sand.
  • Roots grow out into the water to get the most contact between the root surfaces and the water.
  • This allows the plant to soak up more nutrients from the water for its growth.
  • Some water plants, like waterlilies, can have as large a root spread as their leaf spread is on the surface of the water.
  • These mesh baskets are available in various shapes & sizes.
  • The basket holds the plant upright and keeps the soil in position around the plant roots on the shelf of the pond.
  • Place the basket on the shelf with the correct amount of water over the top of the basket.
  • Plant direct into the clay side in a clay-lined pond. No need for any basket at all.
  • Move an overgrown pond plant into a larger mesh basket and fill the space with aquatic soil or washed gravel.
  • Do not use solid plant pots for water plants.
  • The plant roots cannot escape from the cramped conditions inside the solid pot and will rot.

Planting pond plants without baskets:

  • A Pond Planting Sock is an alternative for a very shallow depth shelf where a 9cm basket would show above the water level. Made from a rot-proof woven fabric.
  • An Overgrowing Mat for a very steep-sided pond with no shelf areas. Fix this on the top edge outside of the pond and it provides pockets at 3 depths as it hangs over the side. Made from a rot-proof woven fabric.
  • Floating Islands or Floating Oasis can be planted up with certain pond plants. Made from a rot-proof woven fabric and/or polystyrene float.