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Bog question


Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, Engl

I am considering moving my potted sarras to a mini contain bog. (I don't have that many...yet). It has to be small so its moveable. I'm looking at those little plastic things people use for ponds. I saw one tonite that was 7" inches deep. Then it jumps to one that is 15" deep which looks too deep to me (and would probably be heavy once filled with drainage material and soil). But 7" doesn't sound deep enough. Anyone have any suggestions? I don't want anything too ugly. And also, would it be alright to leave undrained (no drainage holes)?

Any suggestions?

For maximum root growth and to ensure against root-rot, you'd have to use at least a 12" deep container. What would you consider movable?
A larger above-ground bog could be relocated by more than one person. You're right, 7" deep isn't (in my experience) deep enough for an undrained container.

What to use? I use rigid black plastic containers used by fishermen called bait boxes. They about a foot deep and twice as long and wide. They're cheap, durable, and much less expensive than artificial ponds. But I'm not sure if they're rigid enough to stand above ground. They're also black and would heat up appreciably when exposed to 'Mr. Sun'.
Remember that an ugly container could probably be decorated with some sort of all-weather paint or even a mosaic, if you're so inclined. You may want to try a very large plastic pot, but somehow seal up the drainage holes.

And a 'bog' must be undrained or it cannot be considered a bog.

Good luck!

(Edited by Dionaea Enthusiast at 3:11 am on Mar. 10, 2002)
hi Chris

Well...I guess by "undrained" I meant no drainage at all vs. a few VERY small holes for verrrrry slow drainage. Even in a natural bog, water does seep into the soil (even a clay soil) over time...but rain always replenishes from the top keeping the water somewhat fresh. A natural bog isnt water-tight like a plastic container would be. I thought I had read somewhere that SOME drainage keeps the water from getting too stagnant. Personally I would prefer no drainage. A 12" deep container would be more in line with what I was thinking of. I just thought if I could find a small artificial pond container with some shape to it would be more attractive. But I will check out the bait containers.


You're right about the drainage holes. In the event of overwatering (a possibility even with sarrs), several small holes on all sides, a few inches below the soil surface, would slowly drain off excess water.
Yes, in nature bogs aren't sealed with plastic.
A book I just got that you might be interested in is called Bogs of the Northeast, by Charles W. Johnson. You're not really in the Northeast, but it's full of info to interest any CPer or Nature lover. It's available at:
<a href="http://www.amazon.com

Also," target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com

Also,</a> I'm not sure if the bait boxes would be available in your area. I'm in a fishing/tourist community, and there are stores here with commercial fishing supplies.

(Edited by Dionaea Enthusiast at 6:52 pm on Mar. 10, 2002)
Wait a minute guys.......(and girls
) A bog is ALWAYS DRAINED!!!!! The L'owdrich marsh up in the Adirondack's has a huge stream on the one side of it and water is continuosly gushing from there! So yes, a bog is drained. But it holds ALOT of water beacuse of the Sphagnum and in the L'owdrich by a small pond in the center of it. But we a replicating a bog so it must be drained. The best way I have found to do this is to simply put drainage slits along the container's edge at the soil level this way surface water can be dispatched away. Then to keep it better drained and the roots good put 1 slit at the container's bottom to get rid of excess water. So now you have top drainage and bottom drianage.
Interesting. I'd think a slit in the bottom (no matter how small) would provide too much drainage, however.
I was thinking more along the lines of nail holes...tiny but still allowing for very gradual release. I was planning to put a few on the bottom but hadn't thought about putting any at soil level.....hmmmmmmmmm.

Thanks guys!

Some really great things I've seen done for mini-bogs is to use wooden plant boxes like the ones that are meant to be used as window boxes. Line it with heavy black plastic and yes, a few holes a little below soil level is needed. I don't tink you need to worry about the water getting stagnent because it is underground. If you are wanting to have a little pond area like I do with even my smallest of mini-bogs(I call them micro-bogs) Just put some Ferry moss on top of the water. These tiny lilly pads will do enough to prevent algae growth and keep the water clean. If you want some help with this pond part(I mean if you're interested) start a thread in the aquatics section and I'll detail it for you real quick.
I just set up a bog in an undrained container. The soil varies from about 6" to about 8" deep where the sarras are. My other bog is larger, made out of two large parts, the smaller inside the larger with a pipe filled for water flow. The outer one is a pond and the inner one has the plants in it. Under the soil there are distilled water containers to take up space that would otherwise be used by soil. So the soil is about 6" deep and 1' in the spaces between distilled water containers. All the sarras are thriving and we can control the moisture in the soil.
  • #11
I made a small bog for my nephew several years ago. I used a large ruber-maid type container. It is now cracking due to age. I placed about 12 inches of pure river sand in the bottom and then put in about 12 more inches of 2 parts peat and 1 part river sand.  I drilled some small holes about soil level to take care of any excess water. This is the same type set-up that I used on my bog, except mine is deeper and is about 8-9 feet square. I did not put any intentional drain holes in my bog and I have not had any problems. The base of river sand works as a aquifer to hold the water.
  • #12
Thanks for all the interesting suggestions. I just need something that wont be so deep (and heavy) I can't move it. It will have to go on my deck which only gets a lot of sun in certain places. If it weren't for that, I could go for something larger.

Spring is rapidly approaching and I will be able to start playing with the outdoor plants again. Now I will have to deal with the squirrel issue again. They were awfully punishing to my plants last year. They just can't keep their grubby paws out of the pots!

  • #13
I'm actually in the same situation, what I am doing is going to my garden centre when it warms up and getting one of those patio planters that is on little wheels. I need to be able to move mine too. I'm in an appartment at present and reallt don't know for how long. I have worked out how to insulate a mobile bog in the winter, so that won't be a problem. I'm not doing mine for at least another month though.