Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

November 29, 2013

DIRT ON GARDENING: Planning for next year? How about a pond?

As far as gardening or gardening-related subjects are concerned for next year, a healthy wish list may include a long sought-after tree, a rare perennial or even a tool to make chores easier. It might even include something a little more elaborate and time consuming like preparing a new flowerbed or building a new shed to compliment the landscape.

Then again, you could take it to another level and build a small greenhouse to start your plants earlier in the season or to house some tropical plants. Why not even plan a small pond, which doesn’t have to be a huge project. It could be, but for simplicity and one the average homeowner can tackle, let’s think a weekend project (or two at the most) of a small free-form pond, say 5 feet by 9 feet or 6 feet by 10 feet.

Sound like too much? Well, it isn’t. With a little elbow grease, a shovel and a little pre-planning it can be a breeze. A pond design and installation book is essential and can be readily found at retail outlets that deal in pond liners and equipment. It will give you a step-by-step process, including measurements and slope, underwater shelves and a proper liner size.

Pond holes are much like that old adage of cutting lumber: Measure twice and cut once, because there is no going back and replacing dirt that shouldn’t have been removed in the first place. It would be very difficult to retain the integrity of a pond sidewall that has been replaced and re-packed.

My weekend project was a kidney shaped 6 foot by 9 foot pond that I cut to a depth of 30 inches. The plan was for 24 to 28 inches in depth, but I made it deeper for my fish to survive the winter.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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