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Few additions to your outdoor space are as soothing as a small pond. As a visual focal point, a well-crafted pond can add value to your property. You can spend a lot of money hiring a landscaper to construct an elaborate water feature. However, learning how to build a pond is simpler than you might expect.
This guide will teach you how to build a pond.
Mark Location and Shape of the Pond
To build a pond, you will need these tools and materials:
Pond underlayment (optional)
Pond kit with solar light
Begin by selecting a location for your pond. It should be located on a spot with minimal slope.
The pond should be close to an electrical outlet so you can plug in the pump. It also needs to be within reach of a garden hose.
Consider how much sunlight the spot gets, as well. Ideally your pond will get a minimum of six hours of sun a day. If you plan to stock fish, morning sunshine and afternoon shade is ideal.
Avoid building a pond directly under a tree to keep leaves from clogging it.
- Mark your chosen pond location with rope to indicate the shape you want.
- For a 200-gallon pond, the dimensions should be approximately 3-x 6-feet with a depth of 1-1/2 feet.
- Allow for 1 to 2 inches of extra depth for the pond underlayment.
Remove the Grass or Turf
Once you’ve figured out the right spot to build a pond, it’s time to prepare the location. Any grass should be removed from the area. If there are decorative pebbles, rocks or other stones in the space, move them to another place.
The best tool for removing the grass is a flathead shovel. Once the grass is gone, use the shovel to even out the area for the pond.
Lay Out the Design and Start Digging
When the area for your pond is nothing but bare dirt, it’s time to mark the pond perimeter. There are several ways you can lay out the design of the pond. You can use landscape spray paint to draw an outline of it. Another option is to use rope to make the shape of the pond.
When you’ve decided on a shape for the pond, you can begin digging out the dirt. Shovel the dirt into a wheelbarrow or 5-gallon bucket to haul away a little at time.
As you dig, keep the depth of the pond in mind. You want the pond to be deep enough to keep a water fountain kit fully submerged. It also needs to be deep enough to hold any water plants or fish you want to add.
Dig Out the Second Tier
Dig a second tier for your pond in the middle of the space. The second tier of your pond should be deeper than the first. It will leave a shallow shelf around the edges of the pond for plants. The deeper part of the pond can be used for a water fountain kit.
Pond depths can vary. Water plants should have an 8-inch minimum depth. A pond fountain kit will typically need a depth of at least 14 inches. Before you dig, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the water feature you plan to use.
If you want a pond for fish, the second tier should be at least 24 inches deep.
Install the Underlayment and Pond Liner
If you come across lots of tree roots as you dig, you may want to use a pond underlayment. It protects the pond liner from getting pierced by tree roots as they grow.
When you’re placing the underlayment, press and fold the creases in the material. Work from the center of the pond outward. Smooth the creases as you go.
After the underlayment is in, place the pond liner on top of it. If you aren’t using an underlayment, the pond liner can be put directly on top of the dirt. Use the same process of working from the center to the edges of the pond. Smooth the creases of the liner, as well.
- Begin filling the pond with clean water from a garden hose.
- Adjust the liner edges as needed as the pond fills.
- Fill the pond about halfway, then turn the hose off.
- Add the pond fountain kit to see if fits well. If needed, adjust the height by placing a brick underneath.
- Continue adding water to the pool until it is full.
Assemble and Position the Pond Kit and Pump
An attractive, functional pond requires several components, usually sold in pond kits, to prevent it from turning green and stagnant. An agitator such as a fountain or bubbler keeps the water oxygenated. A filter cleans the pond water, while a pump circulates the water through the filter and fountain.
Put together the pond kit and pump based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Place the pump in the center of your pond. Make sure the pump is completely submerged.
Conceal the Pond Liner
After you place the pond pump, you need to trim the excess pond liner. Use a sharp pair of scissors. Leave a 10-inch border of liner around the pond.
The border of pond liner can be concealed with paver stones. Place the stones over the pond liner and around the edges of the pond. In addition to hiding the liner, the stones will make the pond look more natural.
Once you’ve laid out the paver stones, you can use dirt to fill the gaps between them. To keep the stones level, you may also need to add a little dirt under some of them. Wet the stones and surrounding area to help set them.
Add the Finishing Touches
- Before you place water plants in the pond, take them out of their pots and put them in a bucket of water. When they are saturated, you can put them into the pond.
- Add floating lily pads or other aquatic plants for a decorative touch to the pond’s surface.
- Landscape the area around the pond by adding plants and mulch to disguise the liner edges.
Practice Regular Pond Maintenance
- Remove debris and leaves that accumulate in the pond. A skimmer will come in handy. Keeping debris out of the pond pump will help prevent clogs in the pump.
- If you have fish, make sure you feed them every day. Avoid overfeeding them.
- Use barley pond cleaners, which keep the water sparkling without harming plants or fish.
- To cut down on mosquitos in and around your pond, stock it with goldfish. They eat mosquito larvae.
Pond construction requires equal parts planning and elbow grease. Once you know how to build a pond, you can get creative with it. Add aquatic plants and other accessories to customize your pond.
Ready to get supplies to build a pond? The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.