A pond basket is specifically designed to allow water to enter the aquatic compost contained inside it and not allow the compost to escape.
Basket Size Is Important
The dimensions of a basket should reflect the eventual size of the plant as sizeable plants need large baskets to stop them falling over
I would also recommend that only one species of plant is used per basket, this is because one type of plant will always dominate and the others will suffer. You may notice pre-planted baskets that have various plant varieties, these are great if you want to decorate your pond quickly for a garden party or similar but eventually you'll find one of the plants will take over to the detriment of the others.
Step 1. Line the basket with hessian
You will want to line the basket with a hessian or synthetic hessian liner. This allows water to get to the compost but stops the compost from leaching from the basket clouding your pond. Synthetic hessian will last longer than traditional hessian.
Step 2. Fill the basket with aquatic compost
Fill your pond basket between half and two thirds with aquatic compost. You do not want to fill it completely as there should be room to top it up with gravel.
Step 3. Create a gap in your compost
Next you need to create a gap in the soil for your plant to slot into. Carefully remove your plant from the pot.
Step 4. Add your new plant to the basket
Place your new pond plant into the gap you have created, surround the roots with soil and then top up the basket, leaving a gap for gravel. Adding gravel also stops fish from digging out all of the compost which is a common complaint from new pond keepers.
Step 5. Water your plants and top with gravel
Gently water your newly planted basket, this will help to compact the compost down, you should be able to add a little more compost into the basket after this. You can now top the soil with gravel.
Your basket is now ready to add to the pond. One exception is water lilies, these will need to be lowered over the space of a few weeks, dropping slightly deeper each week.
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A full guide to pond plants.