Tuesday, August 4, 2009

One step closer to a pond

Last Saturday we trekked to Burns Feed Store in the ‘burbs to purchase 2 more galvanized stock tanks. Number 10 and 11 to be precise. An obsession? Some might think so. I could be blind to reality, but I don’t think when you look around our garden you see 9 (oh, make that 11) stock tanks. They blend, the plants cover parts of them and you just see little bits of shiny silver! The folks at Burns are nice people to deal with and always have a great selection. There are so many shapes and sizes to choose from, a girl could go crazy!
During our first visit when we told the guy helping us what we were using it for (a bamboo planter) you could see him shake his head and think “city folk…” this time around Andrew joked with the guy that were getting sheep, we thought he was joking along with us until he started offering helpful hints. There are so many interesting things, my mind starts to wander! For instance wouldn’t the feeder on the left make a great planter for peas? And the one on the right you could fill with salad greens! They had a great selection of pots too, all 40% off – which brought their prices in-line with what I regularly pay at Garden Fever. Have I mentioned how much I love Garden Fever?
This project is another where I am honing my ability to make compromises. I wanted a much larger tank for the pond, Andrew wanted a smaller one. We compromised on one slightly over 3ft round. I figure this is a good starter pond. Since I’ve never had a pond before maybe I’ll suck at it and be glad I didn’t devote more space to it? I also wanted a companion tank to go next to the new pond tank and we decided to shake things up a bit and get a shorter one (this is the sheep tank…who knew!). I planned on filling this one with soil, not water. Now I am thinking of maybe putting water in both, although I suppose the 2ft high wall technically is not safe, not that we ever have small children in our backyard, but the raccoons would probably make a mess.

They both are going to the east of the shade pavilion, behind our garage. It’s a difficult site as there are drastic changes in the level of the ground within a short distance, which is why you see them sitting on bricks. Andrew is going to dig the back of the tanks into the ground so they sit level. Of course then other pots will join them and a few plants in the ground will be added, and hopefully they won’t look so barren!

Project to be continued...hopefully soon....


  1. oooh, you are just teasing me with your tank talk...+ the pictures make me want to head right on out there. Do you suppose their attitude will shift if hordes of gardeners start flocking to their store?

  2. Stock tanks are the way to go for an above ground pond. I have had my 900 gallon tank for years now without any major problems...well apart from the over-abundance of Texas gulf toads and their off-spring! I have two stock-tank ponds, another one for peppers, and three more for bamboos (golden and black). Can you really have too many?
    Looking forward to seeing these develop!

  3. TWO stock-tank ponds sounds like fun, although the two-foot one does sound a little shallow for fish. Or maybe you'll be using some other method for mosquito control. (Or maybe Portland really is a gardener's paradise and doesn't have mosquitoes!) Anyway, it's not hard, and you'll love it so much you'll want a bigger one soon. Number 12!

  4. Look at that - stock tank heaven! Beautiful! I can't wait to see the pond. I'm with you, bigger ponds are better, but this will give you some space for some fabulous water plants.
    Sheep would be fun though.

  5. This one really cracked me up. I love that you were joking about the sheep but the guy took you seriously! I have a friend who lives just north of Seattle and they have two pet sheep. Not sure why... they also used to have emus, so I guess they are into novelty. We went to watch them be shorn once - it was a trip! Very cool sheep handler, she whispered in their ears and gave them kisses so they wouldn't be scared. They were tough to catch at first, she really had to chase them around, but then once she flipped them on their backs, they were totally calm and serene.

    Oh yeah, back to your tanks - marvelous! Can't wait to see how your ponds develop. Yeah, you need fish to control the skeeters, but then how do you keep the raccoons and big birds from eating the fish? If you figure it out, I might have to get a stock tank pond going here too!

    PS My kid's school did bamboo in stock tanks - I did a post about it back in the spring. I am a little concerned since I don't know who's been watering them this summer. And I've heard that bamboo in containers can get mites and diseases. Hm. Any opinions about all of that?

  6. Ricki, you should run right out there!! But I bet there might be something closer to you than Gresham. Actually the second time we went (gosh...I think we've made the trip 5 or 6 times) they mentioned that they were seeing a lot of people buy them to use as planters. I think they've gotten used to the idea.

    I like your attitude ESP! I don't think you can have too many. My tomatoes are loving the heat of their stock tank this summer, they make an excellent veggie planter too!

    Pam, no Portland has plenty of mosquitoes, but I am one of those lucky people that they don't bother! I think it's all the garlic that I eat. Andrew was thinking maybe guppies could live in the smaller one, is that crazy? They would be seasonal (that sounds horrible but the little guys don't live very long) though. I need to do some research!

    Megan, sheep would be fun...maybe you should get some?!

    Karen, I think the depth of the bigger tank will solve the birds and raccoons problem, but for the shallow one that is an issue. Andrew was thinking really small fish...they could easily hide under leaves or go to the bottom (I hope). Oh...yes the water could be an issue for the bamboo! Hopefully someone has been. I have never had a problem (knocking on wood) with mites or disease on my bamboo so I don't know what to say...good luck maybe? :)

  7. I just re-read my comment and realized I mis-typed. Two feet deep is entirely adequate for fish in the stock-tank ponds I've had. The smaller one you have looks about one foot deep, and that's the one I was referring to. But no doubt guppies or mosquito fish would work fine in it, and Portland's cooler summers will keep it from getting too hot, as it might in Austin. Rock on, stock tanker!

  8. Nope Pam YOU were correct and I was wrong! It is only 1 ft, I just measured...wishful thinking on my part. Still think lil'guppies would work?


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