Tub Gardens and Container Ponds

Patio Gardens, Tub, & Container Gardens

A tub garden is easy to build and is a great addition for a deck or sun porch. Just about any container that holds water can be made into a tub garden. A small container of only a gallon or two may be suitable for one plant. If you use a 20-gallon or larger container you can even add a few goldfish. Allow about ten gallons of water per goldfish.

A tub garden need not be filtered or circulated unless you want several fish or the sound of moving water. A small pump and a small fountain head sized for this pump will make a nice fountain display. You can even grow a water lily in a small container unless you are planning a fountain, as water lilies do not like having water sprayed on their leaves all the time.

Begin by selecting a container that you like. A container only a few inches deep will work for some plants. If you want fish or water lilies in your tub garden, look for a container at least twelve inches deep.

Be sure to place the container where you will see it often. Water is heavy and you most likely will not be moving the tub garden around once the water is added.

Select an area with at least four or five hours of direct sun if you want to grow a water lily or other flowering plant. However, some protection from the late afternoon sun will be desirable for your container garden.

You can grow floating aquatic plants in a shallow container of water. In a deeper container pot your plants just as if you were placing them in a full sized pond. Shallow water plants can be elevated on bricks or other suitable support. Water lilies and other deep-water aquatics should be in a pot on the bottom of the container. When selecting plants for your tub garden consider the size. There are small and large water lilies. The water lilies on our web site are rated by the size of the leaf spread. A small spread should be chosen for most tub gardens.

Other than replacing water that evaporates, fertilizing and trimming your plants there is little maintenance involved.

Unless you live in an area where the winter temperatures do not drop below freezing you will need to dismantle your tub garden or take it inside for the winter.

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