Keeping water up to the plants in my garden which are particularly thirsty can be an issue for me since I am solely reliant on tank water on my property. Wasting our water supply on irrigation is something that I avoid if I possibly can. I never water my fruit trees simply because (until our dam is finished) I don’t have enough water to give them the good soaking that they need to develop deep roots (too little water and you promote shallow root growth). My fruit trees have been slow to establish but they have developed a good deep root system as they have been forced to seek water in the lower soils – they are now virtually bomb-proof during our long dry spells.
So a few weeks ago my vietnamese mint plant (which likes a lot of water) didn’t look too happy. I thought about how you can put a mint cutting in a glass of water on your kitchen benchtop and it will quite happily grow roots and continue to thrive. I decided there was no reason why I couldn’t use this to my advantage and just stick a cutting in my frog pond. Here the mint would have all the water it wanted, will get filtered sunlight, is contained in my pond by the rocks around the border, and I never have to change the water in a glass on my benchtop. Seeing no downside to my idea the vietnamese mint when into the frog pond – along with lemon balm and peppermint.
The plants are surviving well and I am about to start testing other herbs which might be quite happy being grown as a “water plant”. Clumping or running ground cover type plants will work best as anything that gets too tall will topple over without the soil to support their root system. I am curious to try plants such as thyme, oregano, and various other mint plants – just to name a few.
My pond is already well established and has created its own balanced ecosystem with other waterplants thriving in there. I will need to keep a close eye on my “water herbs” for a while to ensure they are not becoming deficient in any nutrients and perhaps make adjustments to my pond if necessary. If nitrogen levels are too low, for example, I may need to start adding a few small fish so their waste will add nitrogen to the water.
I can’t wait to see where this little experiment leads me!
Now run outside and create your oasis!