I am about to expand a plastic-tub-in-the-ground to a large water garden. It will filter through a bog garden (created in a livestock trough). I am wondering, before I start digging, is there any advice for me in creating–and later stocking with plants etc–the pond so as to be a good home for frogs? I live in plant hardiness zone 6-7.
After a quick skimming of Margaret’s frog posts, it sounds like all you need is water that does not freeze over during the winter; so that the frogs are able to get some air. Margaret uses a small pond de-icer.
I use the small floating de-icer for the few fish I have in the teeny plastic pond. Works well, even with all the snow we got last winter or when it was super cold but no snow — just enough heat to keep the pond breathing through the hole in the ice.
I was thinking of things that would come up in the creation of the pond itself, as, do the frogs like ledges, or a deep spot, something that once built I can’t change?
Would a zinc horse trough be OK for a water feature with plants a few goldfish and hopefully a frog or two? Or, should I stick to one of the big rubber/plastic looking black ones. I’m sure the plants don’t care but I was wondering about the fish and hopefully frogs.
In my experience, the galvanized water trough will be fine for both fish and frogs. The nursery where I work has kept several goldfish/frog ponds each summer in these water troughs. Sometimes the goldfish even survive the winter with out a de-icer or any type of heater. I’m not sure if there are any long-term health effects – some fish are usually replaced every year (cats, birds, no attempt to keep tank de-iced all take a toll), but we certainly haven’t observed any. They really do make attractive little ‘ponds’, especially if you add some stones and a water-pump. Moving water always sounds so beautiful in the heat of summer.
You’ll get more frogs if you don’t have fish, frogs lay their eggs in water and fish eat the eggs. Also, frogs have really sensitive skin and easy absorb chemicals through the skin. Not using toxic chemicals in the yard will also help frog populations.
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.