You Want to Build a Pond, But Don’t know Where to Start
Building a pond takes time and detailed planning. If you are looking to create water garden in your backyard do tons of research and of course make sure you have enough money to complete the project once you start. Developing and maintaining a healthy pond is a continual learning experience. As the saying goes, “knowledge is power” and you will need to continue to gain a deeper understanding of the steps and natural cycles involved in maintaining and building a backyard pond and waterfall.
The first order of business is to purchase a pond kit rather than each piece of equipment separately. These kits are essentially a pond in a box. All that is required is some assembly and adding the water. A prepackaged kit will decrease your learning curve dramatically as all the equipment supplied is designed to work together as a system and will work successfully together for the size of pond indicated on the box. Many kits also come with great instructions and learning materials that will help give you the information and confidence to tackle the project with success as the final outcome.
There are seven basic steps to building a pond. I have only indentified each step and indentified the a basic outline for each, but it will serve as the beginning of the educational process for you.
Decide and Research
Start off by researching ponds, how to build ponds and places to buy pond materials. This is also the step where you decide the design of your pond and the types of aquatic life you want in it.
Carefully measure the placement and distances
Before you pick up that shovel use a chalk line or spray paint to mark where you’ll be digging and the general shape of your pond. This is also a good time to educate yourself on the placement of gas and electric lines in the yard.
This is almost self-explanatory, dig out your pond to the desired depth and width. make sure before you start to know where all the electrical and gas lines are before you begin building your pond. The time spent contacting your local electric and Gas Company is time not spent in the hospital.
In this phase of pond construction you should begin to see the water garden taking shape. There are a couple of different methods for construction. You can install a pre-formed pond liner made of fiberglass and bonded resins, line the pond with a layer of gravel, fine sand and top it with a roll of flexible PVC pond liner or you can pour concrete. Each has its own positives. A pre-formed pond liner will be the easiest to pop in and is great for those new to water gardening, but if you use the flexible PVC liner you can create any shape of pond you like though it takes more effort to install.
The use of concrete has fallen out of favor in the pond business because you need to wait for it to dry and it cracks badly, but for about a decade or so its very strong and will definitely keep foreign plants from invading your pond.
Installing the Equipment
After the pond lining is in you’ll want to install any equipment. Water pump, filter, skimmer, fountains and lighting for the feature. The use of electricity in the pond may require the aid of a licensed electrician depending on your skill set and the accessibility to a nearby power source.
Because a pond is essentially an independent ecosystem it is important that the equipment all work together to maintain the ecosystem in a balanced way. This is one reason why a using a kit is so important. The equipment will complement each other and help maintain a healthy environment for the aquatic life within the pond.
Fill with water
After everything is complete you can fill your pond with water. Typically water gardeners use city water from the garden hose. This water will be treated with chlorine and other chemicals so you’ll need to wait up to a day for the chlorine to dissipate from the water before adding plants and animals. In the meantime look for your aquatic plants and animals at the store.
Add plants and aquatic life
Once the water has had some time to settle and the chlorine to dissipate, you can lovingly add your aquatic plants to their new home. It is suggested to wait a few weeks before adding fish or other aquatic animals to the pond until the new eco-system has had some time to become more established.
In order to become a ponding and watergarden success you will need to continue to your ponding education well past this brief outline. A pond will not only transform your yard and landscape, but also have positive effects on your lifestyle as you enjoy the peace and tranquility it brings.
Garth Epp wants to help you develop the landscape of your dreams. This is why he developed the supportive online ponding community Building My Pond.com and a bi-weekly water garden podcast. To learn more about Garth, or how you can build the water feature you’ve been dreaming about simply click here.
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