Fun Indoor Projects For Winter
When it's too cold to water garden outside, bring the fun indoors. There are many fun indoor projects you can do to scratch your water gardening itch and be creative when you're feeling stir-crazy. Indoor water features help add humidity to the dry air from the cold weather and heating systems. They also add a bit of relaxation and calm to the home.
Indoor Water Garden
You can create your own water garden with an aquascape (an aquatic terrarium). Terrariums can be either open or closed. In an open terrarium, the container (usually glass) is not sealed. There is an opening typically at the top. In a closed terrarium, the glass container is sealed with a lid or a cork.
Step 1: Choose a Container
Glass containers are the most popular with indoor water gardens because you can see the inner workings of your mini world. If you're looking for a more rustic look, you could choose a galvanized container or barrel.
Step 2: Rocks, Gravel or Pebbles
The base of your water garden will be some sort of rock. You can choose from smooth river rock, glass pebbles, or gravel. The rocks are primarily decorative but can also help hold down any aquatic plants that need to root.
Step 3: Aquatic Plants
You can find aquatic plants at your local nursery or aquarium store. Do a little research when choosing your plants to make sure they're a good fit for an aquatic terrarium. Aquarium plants do well because they're well-suited for containers.
Easy Aquatic Plants:
- Marimo Balls
- Water Wisteria
- Java Fern
- Water Lettuce
Tips for Choosing Aquatic Plants
Light: Where will you keep your aquascape, and how much sunlight will it receive? Lighting determines the types of plants you can use. If your water garden is on the windowsill or counter, it's best to use low-light aquatic plants. Full-sunlight plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight, which can be difficult indoors.
Types of Plants: Adding different types of plants gives your water garden more depth. You can mix floating plants with submerged plants to have greenery at every level. Submerged plants root in the gravel, while floating plants will hove at the top of your aquascape.
Make sure your submerged plants can grow in rocks, and you do not need soil. Soil can make the water garden murky and cloudy. Emergent plants root in the rocks, but the foliage will need to stick out of your container.
Caring for Your Aquascape
Indoor water gardens are typically low-maintenance. You can give your plants nutrients directly through the water with special plant food designed for freshwater aquatic plants. Add a small pump like smartpond® 80-GPH pump or Container Fountain Kit to circulate the water or a fountain to your indoor water garden to avoid algae buildup and keep the water aerated, which is a must if you want to add fish. This also helps prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs; they look for stagnant water to breed.
If you need to combat algae, consider adding freshwater snails. Get your snails from a pet store or aquarium instead of wild snails to avoid overpopulation. Some snails, like the Zebra or Horned Nerite Snails, do well in aquarium environments and won't reproduce unless in brackish water.