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Installing a Garden Pond Instructions

  • Installing a Garden Pond

    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 bloom and the marvels of nature.

  • Overview

    The basic steps to creating you own backyard garden pond are to first – walk around the area you want your garden and draw a basic diagram, next dig out the earth and remove stones and roots, then lay your liner into the hole, and finally fill the pond with water and finish it off with landscaping.

  • Make a Diagram for Reference

    First determine the location and size of your new pond. Keep in mind that most aquatic plants require 5-6 hours of direct sunlight daily and that although trees are very attractive close to the pond, they may pose problems as their roots and leaves. It is a good idea to locate the pond in an area a balance of both sun and shade. Make a complete working diagram of the location selected and other relevant features in your landscaping, which you can reference as the project progresses.

  • Mark the Perimeter

    Now you must mark and excavate the site. The easiest way to get the shape of your pond is by laying out a garden hose representing the perimeter of the pond. This way you can easily adjust the shape to your liking and the hose will make the curves smooth and natural. Once you have the layout you like, mark the outline with sand or household flour.

  • Dig Out the Pond

    Next, dig around your outline on a slight inward angle. Dig down approximately 10"- 12" for the plant shelf, which is for all shallow water plants and should be about 10" wide. Once you have completed your shelf, continue digging out the center area until the desired depth is achieved.

  • Measure Out the Final Length and Width

    To determine the size of the liner you need, draw an imaginary 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, ask the liner supplier if your calculations make sense given the size and shape of your pond.

  • Level the Pond

    Next, you will need to level the perimeter of the pond. A level perimeter assures that your water level will be uniform around your whole pond and you won't have areas of liner showing above the water line at any point. Use 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.

  • Protect the Liner

    Remove any debris that you find along the bottom of your pond to protect the liner from punctures and rips. 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. Then spread about a 2" layer of sand on the bottom and shelves, which will ensure that the liner lays on a nice smooth surface.

  • Installing the Liner

    Finally, 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 linear over the hole gently, making sure sides overlap evenly around the rim, and slowly lower the liner into place so that it drops and fills in the hole.

  • Installing a Garden Pond

    Now gradually start filling the pond, carefully smoothing out any wrinkles in the liner as it fills. Once the pond is full trim back the liner about 4"- 5" past the rim of the pond, which you will need to cover with large stones to keep the liner in place. Finally, let your imagination and creativity flow to finish off the pond perimeter and overall landscaping.


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