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I would like to build a backyard pond. What do I need to know? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

Q: I would like to build a backyard pond. What do I need to know?

Q: I would like to build a backyard pond. What do I need to know?

Carolyn – Jackson, TN

A: Are you dreaming of summertime landscaping projects? Yep, we are too. With the cold season upon us, there’s nothing like some backyard pond planning to warm up those chilly days and get excited about diving in to your favorite hobby.

Whether you plan to build a half-acre pond with a recirculating stream and fish, expand on your existing feature, or install a petite 200-gallon in-ground aquatic water garden, you should consider these points as you design your backyard dream:

Start with a Budget

First of all, consider what kind of money you want to spend and develop a project budget. In most cases, the larger the water feature, the more expensive it will cost—but some of those top-of-the-line accessories for smaller features can cost quite a bit, too. If you need some help, call a pond-building professional in your area who can assess your needs and determine your budget.

Look for Higher Ground

Next, take a close look at your landscape and plan to position your pond on a high spot rather than a low spot. It might seem logical to locate your water feature in a valley, but it’s actually better to situate it on higher ground. This will prevent rainwater from running into your pond, which can cause water clarity and algae growth problems later on.

Size It Right

While you’re inspecting your outdoor space, consider what sized water feature will realistically fit within your existing landscaping. Do you have a large yard and want to go big? Do you have a small space that’s perfect for a preformed pond with a small fountain? Perhaps the area is best suited for a pondless stream or waterfall. Many seasoned pond hobbyists have admitted that, in retrospect, they wish they had gone bigger with their initial designs …

Consider Your Audience

Who will be enjoying your water feature? When planning your backyard pond, keep your audience in mind. If you have young kids running around the yard and safety is an issue, a pondless waterfall with no open body of water might be a good choice. If, however, you and your family have a passion for aquatic plants or fish, it would make sense to go with a traditional pond.

Go with a Kit

As you’re planning your backyard dream pond, make the process easier by buying a pond kit, which comes with everything you’ll need. Different kits are designed for different types of ponds. Here are three that we recommend:

  • For a large waterfall with big sound: The RapidFlo™ Ecosystem Pond Kit is ideal for those who want a large waterfall or stream, lots of sound to drown out nearby noise, and a system with the capacity to deal with heavy debris from nearby trees.
  • For fish lovers: The AllClear™ Ecosystem Pond Kit is designed for hobbyists who want their pond to be all about their fish, not a waterfall. It works well in yards with full sun exposure and few falling leaves.
  • For easy maintenance: The Cascading Falls Pondless Pond Kit is perfect for busy people who want to enjoy the sights and sounds of running water but have little time to maintain a traditional water feature. It’s also well suited for small yards or families with children.

Have Fun with It!

The most important thing to know about planning a pond of your dreams is that you should have a great time doing it. You’ll enjoy this backyard feature for years, so do your research, think through these points, and spend time designing something that you’ll love!

Pond Talk: When you built your first pond or water feature, what inspired your design?

Build Your Dream Pond - The Pond Guy(r) RapidFlo(rm) Ecosystem Pond Kits

What type of soil is best for construction for an earth bottom pond? – Pond & Lake Q & A

Why type of soil is best for construction an earth bottom pond?

What type of soil is best for construction an earth bottom pond? Sarah – Charlotte, NC

Getting To the Bottom of Your Pond

If you are planning to dig an earth bottom pond in your yard this season, you may want to do a little leg work to find out what types of soil are found in your area before you break ground. You won’t need to go into specifics but your pond’s chances of success will depend on the dirt you dig up.

When digging your pond, it is common to pull up earth made of sand, silt or clay as well as many other components. If you built your home on land that was previously used for farming you would probably see a substantial layer of a fine, dark, nutrient rich soil. If you live in the southwest you may commonly find your property consists of mostly sand. It is important that you know the make up of your land because each type of dirt has its own unique characteristics and some hold water better than others. If you dig your pond in sand for example it will not be able to hold water. You really want to try to dig your pond in clay to ensure maximum water retention.

So how do you get the scoop on the local dirt? You can check with your city hall, or some local builders in your area, as they have at one point or another been involved with some type of digging in the area. If you can not find valid input or you want to double check for yourself, start digging in your yard. If you find that your yard consists of just about everything but clay, you have another option. Depending on the size of your pond you can purchase pond liner to hold the contents of your prospective pond. For smaller ponds you can purchase 45mil EPDM Liner. If you plan on digging a pond that 5,000 square feet and over then you are better suited with a 20mil PVC Liner which has a higher durability and comes in larger sections. If you’re in the market for a large pond liner it is best to call one of our pond techs to help give you an accurate estimate of the size you would need.

Pond Talk: Have you ever had trouble holding water in your pond?

Make your pond hold water with pond liner.

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