Saturday, August 15, 2009

Follow the Construction Of My Pond! Part Two

For the past few days the boys have been working hard through the heat digging the pond and waterfall. We decided to make the deep end of the pond 3' deep, giving the fish a place to winter and a place to escape from raccoons looking for a midnight snack!

The rest of the pond has different levels for water plants and hopefully other creatures such as frogs and turtles!

Once the boys finished digging, it was important to recheck the sides to make sure the pond was still level. Since water seeks its own level, the pond will only be as high as its lowest point.

The next step was to carefully remove all the little stones and roots from the inside of the pond to prevent any punctures to the liner.

Of course it happened to be recycling week and my conscientious husband recycled our two weeks of newspapers just when we needed them to line the pond! Luckily, my son's friend had plenty to donate to the cause!

A variety of materials can be used to line the pond before the rubber pond liner is put down. Old blankets seem to be popular, old synthetic carpet with pins and tacks removed, and old pool liners, are a just a few ideas people have suggested using. However, the best material to use is a commercial material called pond liner underlayment which looks like a thick felt and won't decompose in the ground.

We used newspapers in the front yard pond, and have had no problems in 9 years, so we decided to use it again along with heavy duty plastic from last years ice skating rink!

For the pond liner we purchased a good quality rubber pond liner that is flexible, quite puncture resistant, UV resistant, and easy to install.

There are kits available from large home improvement stores that have everything included, the pump/filter, liner, tubing and fountain. That's what we used while creating our first pond in the front yard.

However, its the end of the season and shelves are bare, not to be restocked until next spring. This left us with buying everything separately unless we wanted to buy it online. Since the boys were anxious to get started, we opted to go to our local pet store where we buy our pet supplies. They were extremely knowledgeable and had several ponds and waterfalls we could look at for ideas.

When purchasing the liner its important to measure accurately. If the pond is a free form shape measure the maximum width and length. Also measure the depth at the deepest part. When calculating the size of the rubber pond liner add the maximum width & maximum length & the maximum depth TWICE (remember the liner has to go down both sides of the pond) & a foot or two for overlap on the sides.

For example:
Add maximum Width & maximum depth & maximum depth & 4' overlap (2' on each side) = the Width of the liner needed.
Do the same for the length. Maximum Length & max. depth & max. depth & 4' overlap (2' on each side)= the Length of the liner needed.

Once the pond liner is carefully placed in the hole start folding it nicely so it fits along the curves. As you begin filling the pond with water keep pulling up the liner to keep it lying as smoothly as you can.

We are now all set to start filling the pond! After that we will need to go rock hunting for stones to lay around the ponds' edge and create the waterfalls!
See you in a few days!


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