A pond is a natural pool of water that can add an interesting touch of decoration to any landscaping. I say “interesting” because a pond contains all kinds of plants. It can also be a home to fish if you stock it. A pond is always home to frogs, insects, and other types of aquatic wildlife. Build a pond, and they will come. You can pay an excavator to dig out a pond in your backyard. But, if you want a small one, you can do it yourself and save quite a bit of money. You just have to know how to build a homemade pond.
Before you lift up even one shovel full of dirt, you’ll need to take care of the red tape first. You’ll need to check your local zoning laws. Some cities won’t allow you to build a pond in your back yard, while others have no restrictions. Make sure you live in an area that allows you to have a pond first.
A small homemade pond will measure about eighteen to twenty feet in diameter. You should choose an open space in your yard that is fairly level and has no trees or tall shrubbery around it. Not only will trees drop leaves and branches into your pond, but it will also block out the sunlight. The pond will need to receive an adequate amount of sunlight. The sunlight will serve two purposes: it will help beneficial aquatic plants grow. And, the Ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun will help keep the algae growth in check.
I have a homemade pond in my far back yard, and it was dug out by hand some years ago. It’s fed by a natural, underground spring. A pond that gets its water supply from an underground spring has an advantage of constantly moving water. This moving action helps aerate the water. This movement adds oxygen to the water for the benefit of some aquatic creatures. It also helps prevent the water from becoming stagnant.
The first thing to do to build a homemade pond is to stake out the dimensions in your back yard. You can simply use several wooden stakes and a roll of string for this step. Once you have a visual of the shape and size of your pond, you can begin digging it out. Finding someone who will take the dirt you dig out of your homemade pond should be easy, as people are always on the lookout for free dirt. It’s handy for filling in holes and divots in your yard. If the dirt is clean topsoil, meaning it’s not full of rocks and debris, you should even be able to sell it for a few bucks.
It’s up to you how deep your pond will be. To be able to wade in it, the area around the sides should be dug fairly shallow. Slope the sides so they are approximately two to three feet. The middle of your pond, then, can be dug out deeper.
Once you have dug out the diameter of your homemade pond, you can remove the wooden stakes and the string. You’ll then need to use a shovel to pack down the dirt sides. If the soil at the bottom of your pond is clay, the clay will hold water in well. Otherwise, if the bottom of the pond is gravel or sand, you may need to cover the bottom with clay. And to remedy a muddy pond bottom, you can add a layer of gravel to it.