Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Install a Water Garden Pond


Installing a Flexible Liner for a Water Garden Pond
Outlining the pool is the first step.

Installing a flexible liner is the easiest and least expensive process for the home gardener. The following step-by-step instructions will help you successfully complete the process.

1. Outline the pool with a piece of garden hose. If your pool will be square or rectangular, use string staked carefully into place to do the outline. A framing square will be necessary to get a 90-degree angle at the corners.

Use a straight board as you dig out the pond.

2. Dig out the pond to two inches more than the desired depth. Leave shelves about 6 to 18 inches (9 inches is average) deep in areas where you intend to place emergent plants such as cattails. Don't cut the edges perfectly perpendicular or they may collapse: A slight angle (about 20 degrees) is best. As you dig, use a straight board with a level to make sure the pond's edge is perfectly level. If you'll be edging your pond in field stone, remove a further layer of sod from around its edges so the stones can be set evenly with the surrounding soil.

Line the pond area with damp sand.

3. Remove any stones, sticks, or other debris from the pool bottom and sides, then line the entire surface with two inches of damp sand. You may want to install a piece of landscape fabric over the sand for further protection against piercing, especially if you are using an inexpensive grade of liner.

Use stones to hold the liner in place.

4. Spread the liner carefully over the excavation, folding it carefully at corners or curves. Mold the liner to the hole by pushing with your feet (remove your shoes first). Use stones to hold it in place.

Smooth out wrinkles as you fill the pool with water.

5. Slowly add water, smoothing out wrinkles as the pool fills.

Cover the liner overlap with soil or paving stones.

6. Cut away any excess liner, leaving six inches of liner overlapping at all points. Cover the overlap with soil or paving stones.

Keep reading to learn about installing a prefabricated liner for a water garden pond.

Looking for more information about water gardens? Try these: