Prentiss Riddle: Garden

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Prentiss Riddle

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Waiting for tadpoles

Inspired by worldwide amphibian decline, I've made my first foray into water gardening by building a small frog and toad pond.

This is what it looks like after the initial planting. Hopefully the mint (leftmost terracotta pot), maidenhair fern, marsh marigold, river fern, and horsetail will thicken up a bit and provide cover for the froggies. The Texas betony (right) is already happy and putting out blooms.

Now I'm watching for tadpoles. Supposedly I can wait for the frogs and toads to find my pond, but if I find an ample supply of local tadpoles somewhere I may stock it myself.

I found Robyn's Tub Pond Page helpful in getting started, as well as her general amphibians page and her notes on mosquito control. Herps of Texas: Frogs and Toads has details on native species. I bought the true pond plants (marsh marigold and horsetail) at pond specialists Emerald Garden, the rest at my usual haunts. Now that I've got my own thimble-sized pond I probably won't be able to resist attending the Austin Pond Society Tour June 21-22.

garden 2003.03.29 link


From my experience, placing mint near water brings all but guaranteed success.
Keep it pooted though, unless you really like juleps and mojitos -- given the constant moisture mint will grow like kudzu.
Here's hoping you get some residents.

Jake [jake ARROBA blahstuff PUNTO com] • 2003.03.30
Prentiss-you rock. Frog ponds rock! Froggies!

Reen • 2003.03.30
Prentiss do you have a screen or anything to keep the raccoons out? Where I live the wasserbears would eat any juvenile frogs with relish--or maybe mint.

bruce [bmccands1 ARROBA aol PUNTO com] • 2003.04.01
I don't know yet for sure for tadpoles, but I'm told that for fish two things can keep the raccoons from eating them: sufficient depth or overhanging rocks. My pond is shallow but I did put some slabs of rock out over the water. I guess I'll find out when the time comes.

And Jake, as for mint: you can't eat kudzu but you can eat mint. If it starts to take over I'll just tear it out and give it to my mother-in-law, who will return it in the form of mint chutney. Yum!

Prentiss Riddle [riddle ARROBA io PUNTO com] • 2003.04.01
I think what your doing is cool- I'm rasing tadpoles myself. I've been feeding them fish food, but I'm not sure what to feed the frogs...

Jim Day [dayfamil6 cxe earthlink punkto net] • 2004.05.18
Thanks, Jim. I think the ideal is to create a habitat natural enough that both the tadpoles and the frogs can fend for themselves.

I hope you have better luck than I did. My pond did okay for a while, but eventually it filled up with black scum and everything died. I don't know exactly where I went wrong but for starters I think the pond was too small. Next time I plan to think a little bit bigger.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2004.05.18
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