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     Backyard Ponds
 Facts to Consider when having Garden Ponds

BACKYARD POND CONSIDERATIONS

Article 3 - Backyard Pond Considerations

Backyard Ponds

Backyard ponds and water gardens are for birds, butterflies, frogs, fish, and you and your family. These fish ponds are typically small, sometimes no larger than 3 to 4 feet in diameter.

They may be built in barrels or other patio containers. Water is effective in drawing wildlife to your backyard. It is also a natural, relaxing, and scenic addition that can provide interest and enjoyment.

Consider locating your backyard pond where you can see it from a deck or patio. Have it blend in with its natural surroundings. Elevate the soil around the fish pond slightly so that excess water will flow away from the garden pond, not into it.

Make sure that any drainage from the fish pond is away from your house. If you plan to use a pond pump to recirculate water, use a pond filter, or light the area, be sure electrical service is available. There will be less maintenance if your backyard pond is not under trees. Most aquatic plants will grow better in full sun.

Pond liners keep water from seeping into the soil. Even in heavy clay soils, a liner is necessary pond supply. You can buy rigid backyard pond liners in a variety of shapes. These are durable and may include built-in waterfalls.

Many are quite small. Use a pond liner specifically designed for pools. While other plastics initially may be cheaper, many are not resistant to ultraviolet light and will break down quickly. Some plastics may also be toxic to fish.

A thicker liner tends to be more resistant to punctures. While expensive and requiring more expertise to install, cement is also an option as a pool liner.

You can put in a backyard pond anytime the ground is not frozen or overly wet. If using a pre-formed backyard pond liner, dig a hole to the correct depth and slightly wider.

Insert the backyard pond liner, making sure it is level and sits securely in the ground. Backfill around the sides. Add water, pond pump, and plants. Complete landscaping around the fish pond.

For backyard ponds, consider a mix of emergent, submergent, and floating species. Emergent backyard pond plants, those that have their roots in the water but their shoots above water, can be added to the margins of backyard ponds.

Submergent backyard pond species, or those that remain under water such as elodea, are often used as oxygenators. These are plants that remove carbon dioxide from the backyard pond and add oxygen. These backyard pond plants are essential in most garden ponds to keep the water clear.

Floating backyard pond species or those that are not anchored at all in the pond include backyard pond plants such as duckweed (Lemna minor), water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes), and water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes).

While attractive, water hyacinth and water lettuce can be serious weed problems in the south; however, since they are not winter hardy, there is no problem with them spreading in northern climates.

While not as effective as pond oxygenators, these plants help keep the backyard pond water clear by limiting the amount of sunlight that algae receive. In tiny backyard ponds created in barrels and similar containers, these plants may be adequate to maintain clear water.

 

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