Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

Posts Tagged: koi

Backyard Rose Fertilizers

I enjoy the sounds of my simple backyard water feature— from the small bubbling fountain to the splash of fish tails and fins at feeding time. But now and then, the old wooden “whiskey” half-barrel needs a thorough cleaning to remove algae accumulated on the liner, deteriorated plant matter and fish feces built up on the bottom. While the Butterfly Koi relax in a plastic bucket, I scrub the decorative rocks and trim the Siberian iris (Iris sibirica) and miniature Umbrella plant (Cyperus alternifolius).  Then I look for a place where I can dispose of the dirty water.

One day it dawned on me that “fish pond” water teems with beneficial bacteria and is a nutrient-rich source of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. Now instead of flooding the patio bricks, I dump this home-brewed backyard fertilizer into five patio pots where I grow roses. Even my weekly rinsing of sludge from the filter and fountain pump takes place over these five terra cotta pots. As a result, not only are the roses thriving from this diluted plant and fish emulsion, but I’m recycling resources and being thrifty.

To take your understanding of backyard fish ponds to another level, you’ll find information on “aquaponics” at and

Five terra cotta pots with rose bushes. (photos by Launa Herrmann)
Five terra cotta pots with rose bushes. (photos by Launa Herrmann)

Wooden whiskey half-barrel
Wooden whiskey half-barrel "fish pond" with "racoon screen".

Two "rose fertilizers under guard" during cleanup.

Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 11:19 AM

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