Aside from plants, gardens can contain a variety of elements that add texture and diversity into it. And, one of the best elements you can include in yours is water, through a good water feature or DIY pond.
However, there are a few things you need to consider before digging blindly. Our garden experts have summed up just the perfect set of tips for that!
1. Decide the Depth
Shallow and deep ponds both have pros and cons. Shallower ponds, for example, better display decorative ornaments and rocks. They also allow homeowners to interact more with their pet fish and other wildlife.
Deeper ponds, on the other hand, are less prone to algae growth since light can on only reach a smaller percentage of the water. However, this type might require a more expensive pond liner and the fishes might also hide out of sight, under the rocks or at the bottom of the pond.
2. Keep it Suitable
A pond can be too much if it covers half the area of your garden and a tiny puddle will not make sense either. So, calculate your space well and put its dimensions, angles and features into consideration before planning for the size of your pond.
You should also choose a good location, regarding its proximity to the house, flower beds and fences. It will be best to consult with friends, family and neighbours before digging too.
3. Use Simple Shapes
In deciding on the shape of your pond, it’s best to gear towards simple and gentle curves. This is because sharp corners, jagged bits sticking out and dramatic inlets will all soften and eventually erode over time.
Unless you are willing to reinforce your pond’s sides sufficiently, you should stick to a rough circle or oval design.
4. Avoid Vertical Walls
It can be strenuous and costly to reinforce vertical walls in a backyard pond continually. It will require larger rocks that are heavier and more expensive.
If you opt for shallow banks, ideally less than halfway to a right-angle, you will only need smaller stones to be used as loose reinforcement.
5. Protect the Bottom
Burrowing animals can sometimes chew at your pond liner. To prevent so, lay down a protective metal mesh sheet along the floor of the pond and cover it with an even layer of dirt.
Then, place in a durable pond lining, making sure to cover the sides. You should buy the highest-quality lining that’s within your budget to prevent unwanted dirt from getting into the pond and water leaking out.
Lastly, layer the bottom with smooth gravel to weigh it down.
6. Level the Perimeter
Your pond’s water level should only be as high as the lowest point around the perimeter. Once the edges become too uneven in height, water will flow out of the pond like it’s being poured from the funnel of a jug – particularly after a heavy downpour.
To prevent it from soaking the rest of your yard, keep the perimeter level. While it is difficult to achieve precision, you can always check for any significant deviations from your chosen depth at intervals around the edge.
7. Don’t Forget Drainage
After taking every precaution of levelling the perimeter, you can still experience your pond overflowing occasionally given Britain’s rainy climate.
So, identify and implement a predictable overflow area in your garden. Then, channel it to a safe area of lawn, shrubbery or wasteland to stop heavy downpours from causing your pond to flood plants or nearby building foundations.
8. Fill it Carefully
After following all the guidelines above in making your DIY pond, it’s time for you to fill it with water! Use a garden hose to do so but make sure not to fill it right to the top to allow room for initial rain.
You can also start adding fish and plants to your pond — but make sure to do a little research as some plants can be invasive while certain species of fish compete with one another and could quickly ruin your pond.