Article 2 - Garden Pond
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.