Building

Building a Garden Pond

Building a Garden Pond

Ponds are probably the single most important wildlife feature that can be added to a garden, attracting a host of creatures, from birds to frogs and beneficial insects. This leaflet details the steps involved in building a simple garden pond.

TOOLS REQUIRED
  • Shovel
  • Hosepipe
  • Club hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Stanley knife

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE COMMENCING

Before installing a pond, at least three things must be considered:
Style of pond: Is it going to be circular pond, rectangular or other geometric shape?
Type of pond: A koi pond, will require more filtration, must be deeper than most other ponds, and have no vegetation, as compared to a goldfish pond which requires less maintenance. Koi ponds need special advice.
Location of pond: Is it going to be far from the house, or close by? This may be determined by the room in which the owner spends most amount of their time.

DIGGING THE HOLE

Use a hosepipe to lay out your pond shape. When digging, do not break the edges of the pond. They hold your decorative rocks, and if disturbed during the digging process, may break down due to the weight of the rocks. If the sides of the pond are soft, you must reinforce them. You can use roof flashing and support it with PVC pipe stakes, as shown.

POND-1.jpg

Dig almost vertical to 350mm. Place the excavated dirt in a ring about one foot away from the outer edge of the pond. You will need it later to finish the pond. Install the flashing and hold it in place with the PVC pipe. Crimp the top edge of flashing towards the outside of the pond so the sharp edge does not penetrate liner.

POND-2.jpg

LEVELING AND FELT PLACEMENT

Level the bottom for placement of plants. Clip off any protruding roots. Smooth the sides and bottom well. Cover all exposed surfaces with underlay or bidim, which serves as a cushion for the liner.

POND-3.jpg

CALCULATING THE SIZE OF THE LINER

Length of the liner = overall length of the pond + (2 x maximum depth) + 1000mm
Width of the liner = overall width of the pond + (2 x maximum depth) + 1000mm

LINER PLACEMENT

Open the liner and spread it across the hole. Pleat or fold the liner as the pond begins to fill up with water, to make the bottom and sides as smooth as possible. See your Build it retailer, or pool and garden store, for this liner.

POND-4.jpg

ROCK PLACEMENT

Once the pond is almost full, place the first layer of decorative stones or bricks around the sides, overhanging by about 2 inches. Pile the rocks one or more layers thick, depending on how high you wish to raise the level of the pond above ground level. You will need about one ton of 1-4 inch rocks for a 6’ x 1O’ pond. If you build a waterfall, you will need more.

POND-5.jpg

PLACING THE FINAL ROCKS ROCK PLACEMENT

Once you have one or two layers of rock on top of the liner, stand inside the pond, grasp the edge of the liner, and pull it over the bottom layer of rocks, about 6 inches. Put another row of rocks on top. Make sure no liner is showing through the cracks. Fill gaps with smaller rocks. Finish filling the pond. Build your pond slightly above the level of the rest of your yard so that it will not collect runoff from surrounding areas.

POND-6.jpg

The water above ground level gives the pond enough weight to keep it in its place when the water table gets high. The bottom layer, now underwater, not only looks great and completely hides the liner, but also serves as a hiding and spawning place for fish.

COMPLETION

Rake the excavated dirt back toward the pond as backfill to cover up the liner that is showing above the ground. Gently grade it down and use it as a planting area. Put dechlorinator in the water if you live where the water is chlorinated. You are now ready for the plants and fish.

LANDSCAPING

You may plant whatever you like around the pond. Try to use indigenous plants as much as possible. Also, try to use mounding plants, so that they drape over the rocks and into the water. Soon your pond will look like it has been there forever.

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OTHER FEATURES

One can add waterfalls and rockeries to the pond. Waterfalls will require a pump. These can be sourced from your Build it store. Ask for advice on these features.
 

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