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OVERVIEW

 

A pond can add a dramatic, yet tranquil touch to your yard or garden. Your pond can be constructed in many different sizes and shapes, all which can reflect a part of you. Installing a pond may take a little time and effort, but if done right the result will be enjoyed for many years to come. This article will show you in easy steps how to add this water feature to your backyard. Springtime is the best time to install a pond as you can start planting and stocking your pond immediately after you have finished it. This way you can enjoy your work by watching your water lilies and the marvels of nature bloom.

 

 

Skill Level & Time to Complete

 
  • Beginner - 2 to 3 days 
  • Intermediate - 1 to 3 days
  • Advanced - 1 to 2 days
  - Always before you dig contact your local public utilities company to find out where all underground pipes and cables are located.
  - Make sure that you take time to level the rim of your pond accurately -- this is a very important step.
  - If you want to use a pump for circulation and/or filtration, electricity will be required. Make sure you consult your local building codes for proper installation procedures as local regulations may affect the size and depth of your pond.



SHOPPING LIST


Materials List
   EDPM liner (see above for sizing)
   Sand
   Pump (optional)
   2" x 4" lumber
 
Tools List
   Work gloves
   Tape measure
   Small Hand spade
   Wheel barrow
   Metal bow rake
   Garden hose

 

1. Your first step is to determine the size and location of your new pond. This step is by far the most important, so take your time. Keep in mind that although large ponds take longer to install they require less work than a small pond once they are completed. Most aquatic plants require 5-6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Trees are very attractive but they may pose problems for a pond because of their roots and leaves. The best scenario would be to choose a location for your pond with a balance of both sun and shade. You will want to make a thorough working diagram of the location selected and other relevant features in your landscaping. This diagram can be referenced as the project progresses.
2. Mark and excavate the site. The easiest way to get the shape of your pond is by laying out a garden hose to depict the perimeter of the pond. This way you can easily adjust the shape to your liking. Remember irregular shapes look more appealing than linear or box shapes. Once you have the layout you like, mark the outline with sand or household flour.
3. Next, with your shovel dig around your outline on a slight angle inward. You are going to want to dig down approximately 10"- 12" for the plant shelf. The shelf is for all shallow water plants and should be about 10" wide.
4. Once you have completed your shelves, continue digging out the center area until the desired depth is achieved.
5. You will need to determine the size of the liner you need by drawing a rectangle or square around your pond. Measure the length and width. To each of these dimensions, add twice the pond maximum depth plus 3' for plant shelves and a little breathing room. If you have any doubt about the liner size, have the company you are purchasing the liner from verify your calculations.

 

6. Next, you will need to level the perimeter of the pond. As you excavate make sure the rim and shelves of your pond are level. This assures your water level will be uniform and you won't have areas of liner showing above the water line. Take a 2" x 4" piece of lumber with a 4' level to assure the pond rim is level all the way around the pond. If there are any low or high spots remove or add dirt accordingly.
7. You will need to prepare the floor and walls of your pond to protect your liner from any stones, tree roots or other obstructions along the walls and bottom. Remove any debris that you find along the surfaces of your pond.
8. Then, spread about a 2" layer of sand on the bottom and shelves. This ensures a nice smooth surface for the liner's installation.
9. Finally, you will install the liner on top of your layer of sand. The liner is easiest to work with if it is warm, so unfold it and allow it to warm in the sun for 30 minutes or so. Positioning the liner is much easier if you have a few helpers that can lend a hand to get it into place. Position the liner over the hole gently, making sure sides overlap evenly around the rim. Slowly lower the liner into place.
10. Next, gradually start filling the pond, carefully smoothing out any wrinkles in the liner as it fills. Tight curves may require you to fold pleats, just take your time and work with the liner as the pond fills. Once the pond is full, trim back the liner about 4"- 5" past the rim of the pond. You can cover this with large stones to keep the liner in place and add an immediate landscaping feature. Finally, let your imagination and creativity flow to finish off the pond perimeter and overall landscaping.

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