Adding a water feature to a yard can seem like a very big project, but in reality, building a pond might take as little as a couple of days. Installing a pond involves a few important pre-dig decisions, as well as planning ahead for upkeep after it's filled. You can customize and draw up your own plans or purchase a kit with much of what you'll need.
We've assembled some tips for installation that will have you waterside in your own backyard in no time:
- Site it: Make sure to check for underground conditions -- both the natural, such as tree roots, and the manmade, including power lines and water pipes. And dig where you can make best use of the rest of the yard and be able to see the pond from inside the house. Consider tree cover as well, both for the sunlight needed for new plants and for keeping the water free of falling leaves.
- Dig it deep and wide enough: A pond is kind of like a fish bowl or tank, it needs to be big enough for water to circulate so it doesn't cloud over and become a mess needing draining. Size will depend a lot on what type of pond you want -- one for plants and a garden, or one for fish, so choose a type and get the specifications before digging.
- Line it: Choosing the right type and size of lining will make the pond last longer, easier to care for, and cleaner for plant or animal life. Soft plastic varieties and even hard-shelled molds are available. Select a liner based on how you plan to use and fill the pond.
- Pump it: A backyard pond will need a pumping system that fits its size and type, and the pump will need a power source, so including the line placement can be part of the early site planning.
- Contain and fill it: Reinforce all areas of the hole and create barriers with rocks or manmade dams around the edges. Mark the waterline to make it easy to maintain the ideal water depth, plan for concealing hoses and pump lines, and then fill.
- Make it gorgeous: Landscape the area surrounding the pond and add fish, decorative features -- maybe even a waterfall -- and seating.
- Take it all in: Enjoy the bubbling sounds and lush space of water life in your own backyard.