What Is Loam Soil?
Loam soil is a good mixture of Topsoil and Sand
If you are lucky enough to have good topsoil in your backyard, by all means, use your topsoil. All you will have to do is add fertilizer. If you are not so lucky--and your backyard is sand or heavy red or yellow clay, you can mix up a batch of loam soil.
You can create your own loam soil by mixing these two ingredients together
- 2/3 Inorganic Topsoil (Little or no organic material added)
- 1/3 Pool Filter Sand
Mix together thoroughly with a little water. Your soil should clump when squeezed. If your soil is mixed properly, it will not muddy your pond water.
You can purchase inexpensive bags of inexpensive / poor Topsoil at Lowes or Home-Depot. Good soil clumps together as a ball in your hand with only a little moisture.
Don't buy brands like Scott's or Miracle-Gro, as they will contain too much organic matter that can foul your water. Buy an unbranded bag of topsoil instead.
You can purchase Pool Filter Sand at any store that sells pool supplies.
Loam soil is well suited for all aquatic plants (except oxygenators). Oxygenators rarely need to be planted, just anchored in the substrate or in a container filled with sand or 1/8 inch pea gravel.
Sand holds little water but does allow for aeration and drainage.
Some DO's and DON'TS regarding Aquatic Planting Soil
DO NOT use potting soils ( as they are too light and will float right out of the pot). Potting Soil has organic material that will rot and foul your water!
DO NOT add too much composted material (as it is too rich in organic matter and it will ferment underwater and destroy the ecology of your pond).
DO NOT use 100% calcined clay as there is no nutritional value in calcined clay.
DO NOT add rocks, stones or pebbles to the top of your planting container as this will inhibit the growth of your plants. Plants do not grow in rocks and stones in nature!
DO NOT purchase API Aquatic Planting Media or Microbe-lift Aquatic Planting Media as these products are NOT suitable for waterlilies, lotus or most other pond plants. They are suitable for submerged grasses ONLY!
Bog Plants (Wetland Plants) prefer poor, acidic soil.
The texture of loam soil will retain nutrients and water as well as bind to the nutrients in your fertilizer, where they can deliver these nutrients to your plants. The Pool Filter Sand will allow some drainage and aeration Once you have created loam soil for your pond plants, you are ready to plant waterlilies, lotus and marginal plants in your water garden or pond. Enjoy!