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A pond is a beautiful addition to any landscape. Installing one is something you can do on your own in about eight hours. Here’s what you’ll need for this exciting, intermediate level project:
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Marking Spray Paint
- Garden Spade
- Square Shovel
- Mattock or Pick Axe
- One 8 ft. 2” x 4”
- Trowel or Scrap of Wood
- Hand Tamper
- Garden Hose
- String Line
- 4 Wooden Grade Stakes
- Small Sledge Hammer
- Flat Shovel
- Tape Measure
- Rigid Pond Liner
- Pump with UV Clarifier
- Pump Barrier Bag
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
- Eye Protection
- Ear Protection
Choose a location. Select a location for your pond where you can enjoy it from your deck, patio, and other key areas of your home. Avoid placing it under trees where falling debris can clog the pump and cause other problems. Steer clear of low areas in your yard where runoff might overfill the pond. For good plant growth make sure the area gets at least six hours of sunlight a day, but keep in mind that too much intense sunlight can lead to algae problems. Also, arrange to have a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) receptacle within 10 feet of your pond to power the pump and filter.
Prep the site. Smooth an ample area for the pond, removing plants and trimming roots that could grow into your liner in the future.
Mark for digging. Place your liner upside down on the site, positioning it the way you’d like to install it. Mark the general outline with spray paint, indicating deeper areas of the liner.
Start digging. Digging for rigid liner is like sculpting in reverse. Your goal is to make a contoured hole that almost perfectly matches the shape of the liner, leaving an inch or two for a layer of sand between the ground and the liner. This may take some time, and you may find yourself measuring different areas of your liner a number of times. Once you make your measurements, use a square shovel to define the hole around the edges, and a mattock or pick axe to break up and loosen the dirt in the middle. Once you’ve dug enough, test the fit of your liner. Don’t forget to leave room for a one- or two-inch layer of sand underneath.
Add a sand base. Spread a one- to two-inch layer of sand at the bottom of your hole, tamping it down as you work.
Install the liner. Place the liner into the hole. You’ll want to make sure it’s not too deep or too high. It may take a few tries, adding or removing sand, to get it right. When you think you’ve got, level across the liner side to side, front to back, and diagonally, to ensure it’s completely level.
Fill in. Fill the perimeter of the liner with dirt, soil, or sand, tamping it down as you go.
Install the pump. Make sure your pump is ready to filter the water at least twice an hour. Place it in a barrier bag if one was provided, and set it on the bottom of the pond. Don’t forget that your pump needs to be above water. If it needs a boost, place flat stones underneath it to raise it above the water line. Plug the unit into a GFCI receptacle equipped with an outdoor box cover. It should be close enough to the pond so an extension cord is not needed.
Add flagstones. Cover the rim with one to two layers of flagstones. After adding your stones, it’s time to start filling your pond.
Add the plants. Replant any greenery you removed when prepping the pond area. Add your choice of submerged, bog, and floating plants, keeping in mind that you may have to replace some plants each spring. Mulch around the pond and plants for a finished look.
Your installation is complete! Stand back and admire your new pond.