If your property is big enough and has the space you may want to construct a pond. It adds visual interest to your property and can attract wildlife or offer a grand environment for a garden.
Types of Ponds
There are two types of ponds you can create –- a wildlife pond or a garden pond. Of course, the wildlife pond attracts frogs, birds and other critters while
a garden pond provides the environment for flora that thrive in water. This can include lily pads and other aquatic plants. In addition, you can use such things as stones, a small waterfall and even a gold fish or two to help complement the garden.
The wildlife pond is the easiest to construct because it doesn’t use a pump. So you are not restricted only to areas that are near sources of electricity.
So if you want to include a pond on your property, the first thing you need to do is decide what kind of pond you want. What function do YOU want it to serve?
Before taking any action you should contact the local gas and electric utility to help you determine what areas of your land to avoid so that you can prevent damage to their infrastructure when you dig. You should also contact the local Department of Agriculture to determine if there are places on your property where there are protected watersheds and ask them if there are any local regulations you should be aware of before you move along with the project.
Next, select a location. Experts on this sort of thing suggest that you place the pond where it can get four to six hours of sunlight. This helps to keep it healthy and clean. Also consider locations that you can see from your home and make certain that it is not in the path of runoff caused by rain because debris could wash into it. You should also take care to select a location that is not too close to trees so you won’t damage their root systems.
Size and depth of the pond should be another consideration. In wet regions like the eastern United States, a pond that is just a few feet wide and deep would suffice. However, if you live in a drier region of the country like the southwest you will want your pond to be deeper and wider.
Keep in mind that larger ponds are easier to maintain and they are more stable, so plants and wildlife creatures can thrive.
Use a large rope to come up with the shape and size of the pond. Keep the rope in place once you have found the shape and size you like and use it as a guide when you begin to dig.
Constructing the Pond
A shovel should suffice for digging and keep the topsoil in a pile because you will be using it to edge the pond later. If you want to construct a wildlife pond then:
· Dig it deep enough so that it won’t freeze solid during the winter.
· Include a gradual slope to one side of the pond so that animals that wander in can get out.
· Line the bottom of the hole with a layer of sand and make sure every gap is covered.
· Add a layer of non-biodegradable material like carpet or pond underlay and cover with a large piece of waterproof liner.
· Use a hose to fill the hole up to the edge.
· Trim the overlapping liner back about 5-inches.
· Lift back the liner and create a grass flap. Insert a spade a few inches into the slot, work the spade so that it is parallel to the ground, and gently lift the grass over the slot creating a grass flap around the pond.
· Lift back the grass flap and tuck the edge of the liner into the slot and cover with the grass flap.
· Add water from a local natural pond.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to construct a garden pond. First, multiple levels are usually included to help enable a waterfall and an electric pump is included to circulate water for the falls. Make certain that the pond is located near an electrical outlet so that the pump can get power. To construct the garden pond:
· Dig a hole.
· Dig a second hole about 10-inches deep at the center of the first hole.
· Dig a shallow shelf around the perimeter of the pond to serve as a level for aquatic plants.
· Line the bottom of the pond hole with a layer of sand and make sure all gaps are covered.
· Add a layer of biodegradable materials including newspapers or burlap.
· Lay down a large piece of waterproof pond liner over the entire pond and the edges around it.
· Place a garden pot of about 3-inches in height upside down into the deeper hole in the center of the pond and place the pump on top of the pot. Route the hose of the pump to the surface of the pond.
· Trim the liner so that it overlaps the edge of the pond by about 5-inches.
· Dig a shallow shelf under the liner.
· Lay the liner edges flat and place heavy flat stones on top of the liner around the edge of the pond. Make sure that the stones are settled a few inches into the ground so they are level with the surface of the pond when it is filled.
· Use a hose to fill the pond with water up to its edge.
· Test the pump to make certain it is working properly.
· Add lily pads, reeds, and other aquatic plants to the pond.
· Purchase gold fish from a local pet store and put them into the pond.