Creating a low-maintenance garden pond

There is no doubting that a water feature of any form is a wonderful focal point in any garden. But, for many of us it is perhaps the thought of all the maintenance that is potentially required to keep it healthy and looking good, which puts us off having one in our own gardens.

There are, however ways of constructing a pond with added features, which require low maintenance:

  • Site the pond in an open area of full sun with no trees or nearby shrubs that might deposit leaves in the pond or damage the lining of the pond with root intrusions.
  • Site the pond at a slightly higher point of the lay of the land to prevent surface runoff contamination.
  • Use pond lining materials of high quality to prevent having to carry out any chronic or recurrent repairs to the pond.
  • Provide a protective underlay beneath the pond liner to help prevent sharp points on rocks working their way through the soil and puncturing the liner.
  • A pond needs to be installed so that it is perfectly level – apart from a potentially irritating lopsided appearance, it may result in the pond flooding more easily.
  • Constructing a pond for low maintenance requires that it be accessible as there will be times you will need to go into the pond. Sloped sides will make this difficult, particularly if there is algae growing on the lining of the pond.
  • Create a low maintenance edging by cementing down heavy stones or slabs so that they will remain securely in place. Paving blocks or bricks also create a low maintenance pond edge.
  • Install a submersible pump setting it about 15cm (6 inches) from the bottom of the pond. Setting it above the bottom of the pond will keep the pump from pulling-in settled debris. The filter screen will still require taking out and hosing down weekly in the summer and autumn months. The larger the surface area of the filter screen the less frequently it will require cleaning.

I hope these ideas will either help convince you to go ahead and construct a pond in your garden, or they’ll help shorten the time required to maintain your water garden.

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