Small water feature option to existing outdoor garden space
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Step 1: BEFORE and AFTER
The sun is shinning and the birds are singing nearly every day in southern Arizona (AZ) so why not supplement/complement our veranda potted garden with a water feature to enjoy the outdoors even more. The water display is a alternate place for our hummingbirds to visit in-between flights to the nectar feeders.
Adding guppies to the water feature.. add interest and guppies eat mosquito larvae.( I will live with this arrangement for now but may add a small hydroponic floating plant at a later date)
I had all potted plants in the veranda garden, each with irrigation lines.
I repurposed one pot into this water feature. I used a single panel photovoltaic (PV) powered water fountain pump which had an internal battery. It also has a LED light. The unit passively powers the pump and light from dawn and into the night, with the stored power. Now the existing irrigation line will be repurposed by serving to replenish water, which evaporates quickly in this AZ climate
Step 2: SUPPLIES
-Water feature container
-Plumber's putty ( if needed)
-Liquid rubber coating (if needed. If you are planning to add a fish be sure product is rated for pond use)
Note: in my application I had an existing plant pot which has a bottom drain hole that also had an irrigation line which passed through into the pot...,so I had to seal the bottom to prevent drainage.
-PV solar pump (with battery storage if you want to enjoy when the sun in down. And light if you need night illumination). Depending on your chosen pump design you may need something submerged in the container to position your pump at the desired height. I used a plastic container, which I had to weigh down with rocks. I drilled a hole in the container too to allow the water in/ all air to escape and pass my irrigation line through, but many may not choose this option)
- Fish (if you like/can)
Step 3: ASSEMBLY
In my case... since I chose to repurpose an old plant pot with existing irrigation line, which passed through the drain hole... my steps included:
- EMPTY plant and dirt and gravel from pot
- CLEAN the empty pot
- REMOVE any flaking waterproofing material
- RECLEAN pot
- APPLY plumber's putty in drain hole and around irrigation line ( Note: some may choose to also pass there electric cord of pump through this drainage hole at this time too, sealing with the plumber's putty. I did not as I wanted the ease of removing the pump for cleaning/replacement.)
- COAT inside of pot ( I spray coated but if your pot is small ...brush coating can be easier as spray coating is typical done at ~ seven inches from the surface and can be difficult in the confines of a small pot.) let dry for manufacture suggested time period.
- ADD pump ( on stand if needed). Position your PV panel in an optimal position to get best solar exposure. Pump should not be operated without water.
- ADD water
OPTIONAL .. ADD ?. I used captured rain water from my roof, rather than well water. If you use municipal chlorinated water you would want it to sit for a while so the sun's UV can breakdown the chorded before adding a fish.
- SWITCH ON pump / back up battery power (if required. I let my PV panel charge the internal battery for one day before this step.)
Let the sun shine! ENJOY!
Replenish water "as needed" to assure pump is not deprived of water during operation. In my case I adjusted my irrigation watering frequency and end of line valve "open position"to best compensate for seasonal needs. If you added a fish it will need to be fed.
As with any water feature... besides birds....critters will visit for a sip. If you use the light it will attack bugs at night. Depending on your area.... Remeber..Bats like water and bugs too. Clean the pump filter as needed. If battery storage is used, at some point that battery will need to be replaced.
I use the bubble water display most of the time as he can get strong breezes, so a high,light spray may disseminate the water from you container. But hummingbirds like a light water spray or mist! It is easy to exchange spray heads
So far... this has been an added pleasure to our backyard!
The first evening of operation enticed a Sonoran Desert Toad to investigate!
Participated in the
Outside Contest 2017