Ponds and Water Gardening forum: 3 Big Clay Pots...Container Water Garden ?

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Name: mj
Central Florida
Butterflies Hummingbirder Keeps Horses Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Florida
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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mjsponies
Jun 30, 2013 5:51 AM CST
I was gifted with the 3 very cool Big clay pots.
I've been wondering just what I wanted to do with them. I've been wanting a pond, but hadn't quite gotten around to doing anything about it. Then these came along. I thought they would make a nice Container water feature.
I know I have to plug the bottoms, how to do ? but would they need to be "water proofed" ? I wouldn't mind added water "as needed", as I would really like to leave them as they are.
Would like to use a solar pump,with one of those fountain the area I'm thinking of putting them gets a solid 6 + hours of full sun daily. Harbor freight has some on sale.
I haven't really investigated plants that much yet, although I have a Colocasia Mojito which I have seen grown in a pond at one of our local big greenhouse's.
Probably wouldn't have to much of a problem with Racoon's where it's to be placed, so could have a few fish.
Would be nice to make a little "Waterfall " between 2 of them.

So as you can see I'm just at the beginning of this project and could really use some input.
By the way I've been reading thru the threads here, seems like really good information !

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God gave us wings. He just called them horses
Name: Paul Anguiano
Richland, WA (Zone 7a)
GW & DG: tropicalaria
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psa
Jun 30, 2013 6:19 AM CST

Moderator

Welcome! It's always great to hear new voices with new ideas.

It sounds like you've got a fun project on your hands. Your clay pots are definitely going to need to be waterproofed if you want to use them for holding water. I don't know how to do this, but others here might, and your local hardware store might have some suggestions. My experience with with the terracotta material is that seeping water encourages the growth of mold and mildew on the surface of the pot, and the seepage rate can really be quite high. Eventually, mineralization occurs as evaporating water on the outside leaves behind dissolved substances, and a crusty mess surrounds the pot. Although this is manageable when the pot holds moist soil, I think it would be very difficult to keep up with as a water feature.

Maybe you could come up with a liner of some sort, made from a bag or inner pot or ?

Welcome!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Jun 30, 2013 7:14 AM CST
Paul is correct.

RTV glue may work to fill the holes. It expands and contracts with temperatures:
http://www.permatex.com/products/product-categories/adhesive...

You would definitely need to seal the containers to make them water-proof. Here is an article that might be helpful:

http://www.ehow.com/how_8030556_waterproof-terra-cotta-pots....

And this GardenWeb thread discussion has quite a bit of info:

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/accout/msg051024491...

Good luck! Would love to see some photos when they are done!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 1, 2013 6:47 PM CST
Hi Mj! Those are some gorgeous pots! The guys are probably right about having to waterproof the clay, but I would try a quick experiment first to see what the seepage rate really is. Thick walled clay pots like that might not seep nearly as much as regular ones. Plug the drain hole, fill them maybe half full with water and make a little mark with a pencil at the water line, then see how fast the water level falls. . Also in the sun for 6 hours per day, you're going to have a fairly high evaporation rate anyway. My little pond is in the sun only about 3 hours, and it can lose over an inch per week if it doesn't rain. Let's hope some day it won't rain?? Rolling my eyes.

I have a clay pot that someone painted with a dark colored paint and it sure seems to stick. In the ehow link Becky gave you above, I think the exterior varnish idea is the best, and it wouldn't discolor the clay too much either. I'd try some good marine varnish.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Jul 1, 2013 7:46 PM (+)]
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Name: Paul Anguiano
Richland, WA (Zone 7a)
GW & DG: tropicalaria
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Garden Photography
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tomato Heads Organic Gardener Greenhouse Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
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psa
Jul 1, 2013 7:22 PM CST

Moderator

Even if the water loss is manageable, I would be concerned about the mineral buildup from that much seepage and the things that would grow on the surface. I hope you'll share your experience and pictures with us what ever you do, as I'm sure we'd all enjoy learning more about what works and what doesn't.
Name: mj
Central Florida
Butterflies Hummingbirder Keeps Horses Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Florida
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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mjsponies
Jul 2, 2013 6:05 AM CST
Hi,
Hey Elaine! I'm migrating over here.

Thanks for all the comments and links. I've been reading thru and I'm on the fence about it now. I'm too am concerned about the mineral buildup. I have well water, and would be using a Solar pump to circulate the water in the pots. I am going to look into a liner, just figuring out how to attach it near the rim of the pots w/o destroying the "look", which is one thing I like so much about these.
I was also trying to keep this "simple"... I'll keep you posted if/when I continue with this project. I've got a nice 100 gallon stock tank I keep eying, but we keep that as an emergency container for water for the horses in the event of a hurricane.
God gave us wings. He just called them horses
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 2, 2013 9:27 AM CST
Glad to see you here, Mj. Have you peeked at the Florida Gardening forum yet? We have a thread going that is similar to the Tropical Gardens thread at DG that we so love and you will recognize at least a couple of other names. "What's in your Florida Garden". The Orchids forum here is much more active, too. Again, you will see familiar names besides mine. I'm not abandoning the other site, but I really like this one better. Aside from the cute icons, the pictures are easier to post as many as you want, and who can beat a free subscription?

On your water garden project, don't be overwhelmed by the initial complications. A water garden can be very easy care once it is set up, and gets balanced with plants, fish and water aeration. Mine goes weeks sometimes without any input from me, other than keeping the water level up. I have starts of water plants for you! Big Grin
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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