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Build Your Own Backyard Pond

Very few homeowners have a natural stream or lake as part of their landscape. However, if you would like to hear water cascading over rocks or the sound of frogs chirping at night, you can create your own backyard pond to enjoy. Adding a pond to your landscape creates diversity to your yard, an eye-catching display, and will attract beneficial wildlife as soon as it is created. We have everything that you need to make this weekend project a reality you will enjoy for years to come.

Step 1: Choose a location
Think about what size pond you would like to install, and begin to scope out your yard. Remember that a pond that is near a tree that drops leaves or pine needles will require a bit more cleaning and maintaining.

Step 2: Create an Outline for Your Pond
You always have the option to pick out a pre-formed tub to use for your backyard pond (one that you can just dig out a hole and set in), but if you want to design the shape yourself, you can simply use pond liner and rock/gravel to keep it in place. Before you begin digging up your lawn, create an outline using stakes and twine or even your backyard hose.

Step 3: Dig the Hole
As you dig a hole for your pond you will want both a deep and shallow area. You can do this by creating a ledge around the perimeter of your pond, and then digging deeper toward the middle. This will allow for a range of fish and plants. Some plants can only be placed in up to 20cm of water, and some like it a lot deeper. If you think you want Koi in your pond they will require a deeper and larger area than other, smaller fish.  It is important to have the sides of the hole level all the way around (otherwise it will be noticeably uneven), and make sure the edge of the pond has a slight rise to keep out rain runoff.

Step 4: Install Liner
To determine what size pond liner you will need, you will have to measure the length, width and depth of your pond. Start with the longest length. Next, measure the width at the widest point. Last measure the deepest part of your pond. You use two times the depth because the liner needs to go down and back up the sides of your pond. Add two feet in order to have a foot overhang around the perimeter of your pond.

Length + Depth + Depth +2 = Length of Liner
Width + Depth + Depth + 2= Width of Liner

For example if the longest length of your pond is 10 ft, the widest width is 5 ft, and the deepest depth is 3 ft, this would be your calculation:

10’+ 3’ + 3’+ 2’= 18’
5’ + 3’ + 3’ + 2’= 13’

The liner needed for this pond is 18’ X 13’. Most liners are cut in 5’ increments so you would buy a 20 X 15’ liner.

Once you have your liner lay it over the hole. Try to drape it rather than drag the liner which may cause the soil to crumble underneath. Gently press the liner into place around the pond, and add rock and gravel to the bottom and layers to help keep it in place and give it a natural look.
Use stone to keep the liner in place around the perimeter of the pond.

Step 5: Add Water to Your Pond
Begin filling your pond, but as it fills look for areas that are pleated and need some adjustment. Take your time and get it right.

Step 6: Add Pump/Filter and Secure Liner
You will want to think about your pump and liner placement before completely securing liner. For a simple water feature place the pump in the desired position, and run the cord to the side of the pond and run the cord to your power source. Insure that it works now so you will not need to take anything apart to get it back out! Once in place, secure your liner around the perimeter and pack dirt over the overlapping liner (You may choose to cut some of the over lay if it is much more than desired).  If needed finish filling up your pond.

Step 7: Add Your Finishing Touches
Naturalize the edges of your pond by adding mulch and plants. Go ahead and place backyard pond plants at the appropriate levels of your pond, but wait at least two days before adding fish.

Enjoy your beautiful backyard pond!

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