Your outdoor space can go from bland and generic to beautiful and unique when you add a backyard pond. Making a pond in your garden is not that difficult to do as a DIY project, but you should plan on doing regular maintenance to keep it looking clean and attractive. However, when you take the right precautions while building your pond, you’ll find the maintenance easy to do.
Supplies You’ll Need for Your Pond
Make your life easier by getting all the supplies you’ll need for your pond before beginning the project. Some of the supplies you’ll likely require are:
- Pebbles and rocks
- EPDM or PE liner
- Covered GFCI outlet
- Submersible pump
- Optional waterfall tank
- Optional water-friendly plants
You’ll also need the following tools:
- Line level
If you are planning to keep the pond a small and manageable size, it’s possible to do on your own. However, anything more substantial than six feet on a side and 18 inches deep should be handled by professionals because of the amount of digging and complex electrical and plumbing work required.
How to Prepare the Ground for Your Backyard Pond
The most critical first step is to choose the right location for your pond. You want to select a spot that gets some sunlight. If you live in a warmer climate, pick an area that receives some shade as well. Too much sun in a warm environment can cause algae blooms.
Also, pay attention to the proximity of trees. Tree roots can grow into the area of your pool and can cause leaves to fall into the water. Check on any local ordinances regarding property codes as well.
Dig the space for your pond. You will likely need large shovels at the very least to dig up enough dirt. Be sure to leave some extra space around the edge for mowing and for cleaning the pond.
Measure out the EPDM rubber liner (alternately, you can use a polyethylene liner, but EPDM is more durable). Make sure to purchase your EPDM liner from a pond supply store, as the version sold in building supply stores often contains chemicals that may kill fish or other marine life in your pond.
Protect the space by putting an underlayment in place. This piece of synthetic cloth is sold at pool supply stores and will act as a buffer, making sure that rocks and roots don’t damage the liner.
Put the liner in position, being careful not to stretch anything so tight that it causes a rip. Make sure the soil is compact beneath the liner.
Adding Plants and Fish to Your Pond
If you want to bring your pond to life, add plants and fish. However, if you plan to include plants and/or fish, you will also need to include a pump and filter to help keep the water clean. If you want to add cattails, make sure you plant them in containers; cattails can grow into liners and cause damage.
How to Maintain Your Pond
Keep your pond as clean and free of leaves as possible. Leaves can turn the water brown and even kill fish. Most people also drain their pond in the winter to keep it from accumulating debris.
When you keep your pond clean and the water healthy, you’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come.