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January 31, 2022

5 types of plants should be used around lakes:

  1. Slope plants
  2. Boundary plants
  3. Wire plants
  4. Aquatic plants
  5. Surface plants

A. Slope plants

  • pineapple
  • asparagus
  • aloe vera
  • eggplant
  • chilli

These plants:

  • conserve water and check soil erosion
  • provide an income for local people.

Slope plants should always be planted in symmetrical horizontal lines and never in vertical lines, as this allows the water to flow away and encourages soil erosion.

Along with pineapple, asparagus and aloe vera, eggplant and chilli should be planted as per the seasonal order.

For example, in the summer season, green leafy summer vegetables, small bitter gourd and summer round eggplant of the makada variety can be planted.

In the rainy season, caladium, chilli and rainy season eggplant which is not exactly round can be planted.

In the winter season, winter red chilli should be planted. This variety can be dried, packed in bags and sold when the market price is high.

It is used as a cooking spice. Large, white autumn eggplant can also be planted.

Terracing is a Must

Terraces prevent the run off of surface water and soil erosion. As a general rule, all sloping land should be terraced as far as possible.

While it may not always be possible to terrace small slopes, large hills and sloping agricultural land should always be terraced. The mounds and furrows on sloping land must be dug perpendicular, not parallel, to the slope.

Where a gentle slope ends and a steep slope commences, both slopes should be terraced. But the terracing on the steep slope should be constructed high up the slope so that soil erosion and the rapid flow of water is checked.

Roads which go through sloping terrain should be constructed so that the water runs off in a regulated way without damaging the land.

Where the boundary line of a slope touches a river, just above the extreme lowest portion of the slope, a row of banyan and palmyra trees should be planted alternately.

Where the slope starts, custard apples, guavas etc. should be planted.

Between 2 custard apples and guavas, agave should be planted in the same row, not in separate rows.

This system will help to check the soil erosion around the base of a steep slope and also protect the banks of the river.

One row of either East Indies or West Indies pineapple can also be planted on the boundary line of any slope between shál and Indian olive, between shaid and cinnamon, or between shál and himalayana devadaru.

Also, one row of pineapple can be planted on the boundary line of a slope where it touches a field.

The pineapples may or may not bear fruit if there is scanty rainfall, but they will definately check soil erosion. The West Indies variety requires less rainfall than the East Indies variety.

B. Boundary plants

  • palm trees
  • the creepers of flowers
  • vegetables and fruits.

Palm trees should be planted around lakes according to their water capacity.

For example, coconut trees should be planted around A category lakes, palmyra around B category lakes, betel nut palms around C category lakes, date palms around D category lakes, and tall banana trees around E category lakes.

Creepers should also be grown along with the trees. Coconut trees should be combined with black pepper creepers; palmyra with jasmine creepers; betel nut with lavender; and date with the following medicinal creepers:

  1. malehmal – diirgha lata
  2. harjora
  3. ananta mula
  4. ishanmula
  5. shveta makal
  6. gulaiṋca lata
  7. jayanti lata
  8. shveta kuce
  9. rakta kuce
  10. rakta kambel
  11. choi
  12. black pepper.

Only one type of creeper should be planted by each lake.

C. Wire plants

a brick wall should be built around each lake and topped by angle irons and wire. The fence will keep out large animals and prevent people from having accidents. Along the wire the following plants should be grown – creeping vegetables such as beans, bottle gourd, squash and pumpkin; flowers such as aparajita, morning glory and moonflowers; and fruits such as melon, passion fruit, grape, etc.

D. Aquatic plants

These are either:

  • thorny
  • non-thorny

The thorny aquatic plants include:

  • the lotus
  • makhana
  • Victoria regina

The lotus produces vegetables and provides organic matter to the water.

Makhana seeds are very nutritious and can be sold at a good price.

Victoria regina can be grown in beauty spots. All these plants are known for their beauty. Non-thorny aquatic plants include the water lily and the water chestnut.

The water lily has edible seeds as well as floral nectar.

The water chestnut provides edible roots which can be used as a vegetable or a fruit which is good for the stomach.

Aquatic plants can generate income for local people. Thorny and non-thorny aquatic plants should not be grown together.

E. Surface plants

These should be grown on the flat land surrounding the lake.

Anything can be here according to the local preference and the condition of the soil. The following can be grown in rocky areas:

  • Banyan (Ficus benghalenses)
  • bo tree (Ficus religiosa)
  • Acacia catechu
  • Acacia arabica
  • thorny and dry climate trees.

Lotus, makhana, water lily, water chestnuts, pineapple and bitter date palm grow very well in or beside ponds and lakes.

If these plants are cultivated properly, they will be very productive.

All lakes should be treated as beauty spots.

Pineapple, asparagus and aloe vera should be planted on the slopes, along with different types of brinjal and chilli. Different varieties of slope and aquatic plants should also be planted in and around the lakes so that each lake has its own particular charm and beauty according to its size and location.

Pisciculture should also be developed in ponds and lakes. The fish help to keep the water clean and the level constant because their breathing creates water and carbon dioxide. The fish inhale oxygen along with water vapour from the atmosphere as well as dissolved oxygen from the water. They synthesize water which is exhaled into the lake.

This helps to keep the water in the lake at a constant level. If many fish live in a lake, hundreds and even thousands of gallons of water will be added to the size of the lake in the course of time. Each lake should also have an attached bird sanctuary, because the fish provide food for the birds.

The recommended depth of small-scale artificial lakes is five feet. If the lake is located in a hot dry climate with high levels of evaporation, the depth should be increased to ten feet.

Sea creatures without gills, like prawns, chingry and tortoises can survive with thorny aquatic plants. But some other fish cannot, so thorny and non-thorny aquatic plants should be grown seperately.

The following are good for pisiculture:

  • small fish
  • crabs and prawns like charamach, koira, guri and rai mach.