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     Garden Pond Facts
 Facts to Consider when having Garden Ponds

GARDEN POND FACTS

Article 2 - Garden Pond Facts

Garden Ponds

There's nothing more relaxing than stepping out your back door and spending a little time by your garden pond or water garden.

In addition to providing a respite for you, a garden pond attracts all kinds of birds, insects, toads and frogs. You too can have your own backyard oasis. A water garden doesn't have to be a large, complex project. Simply let the size of your property and your budget determine the dimensions for you.

Building a Garden Pond

Late spring is a great time to build a garden pond. The soil is still moist and easy to dig, and the approaching early summer is an excellent time to introduce plants and Koi, or other pond fish, to their new home.

Here are some simple tips for for installing a water or garden pond.

1. Lay out the size and shape of your pond using a garden hose and wooden stakes. The pond should be 18 to 24 inches deep for fish and deep water plants, with a 6- to 12-inch-deep zone to hold submerged pots. Dig a 6 inch trench around the inside edge of your outline and remove the stakes. Then dig toward the center, removing the top 6 inches of soil and sod. Use a spade to outline the deep water zone, then dig downward and outward from the center of this zone until it's the proper size and depth.

2. While digging, make sure that you keep the outer edge of the pond level or the pond will appear lopsided. Use a line level, string and a yardstick to take measurements at 1-foot intervals around the perimeter.

3. An overflow pipe will prevent your garden pond from overflowing during heavy rain. Use a 1-inch-diameter PVC pipe, assorted fittings, "O"-rings and PVC glue. Install the pipe so that the bottom lip sits just above normal water level. Direct the overflow to an existing drainage channel, a sump drain or an underground drainage pipe.

4. Tamp and smooth the walls of the excavated area making sure to remove any sharp rocks, roots or anything else that might puncture the water pond liner. Cushion the liner by covering the walls of the excavated area with a 1-inch layer of sand, an old piece of carpet or carpet pad or several layers of damp newspaper.

5. Open the liner and let lay in the sun for a half hour, or so, to make it more flexible and easy to install. Center it over the top of the excavation and secure the corners with some heavy rocks or bricks. Slowly fill with water making sure to smooth out creases while the pond is filling. Don't expect to get all of the folds out, it's impossible. Don't worry though, no one will notice them once the water pond is edged and planted. Be sure to use a "fish grade" liner, even if you don't plan to keep Koi or other pond fish. A good liner will last a very long time. We recommend that you get a black one. They tend to make the pond look deeper and more natural.

6. Let your new garden pond "rest" for a few days and then trim off any excess liner, leaving a 12-inch flap. Bury the flap in a sloping trench, backfill with topsoil and then plant flowers or grass, or top it with gravel, river rock or boulders. Set all stonework in a 2- to 3-inch bed of sand or cement that is sloped to carry off rainwater. Be Careful! If the pond is contaminated with cement, soil or other debris, siphon the water out, clean the pond and refill with fresh water.

7. Allow the water to warm for a few days and let any residual chlorine dissipate naturally. Caution -- if your water supply is treated with chloramine, instead of chlorine, you will need to use a commercial dechlorinator. Also check and adjust the pH if necessary. Add plants first, then wait at least two weeks before adding Koi or other fish.

Follow these simple steps and you'll soon have your own garden pond retreat right in your back yard!

For more information about garden ponds, please visit us at www.macarthurwatergardens.com

Until then - Happy Pondkeeping!

 

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