Ground preparation before laying pond liner and protective underlay

It is important to prepare the ground properly before laying down the protective pond underlay and pond liner. Thorough preparation will reduce pond maintenance in the long-term and prevent damage to your pond liner. As you prepare the ground for the pond, save any turf removed to fill bare spots in the lawn once your pond is constructed:

  • Dig to the decided depth. Ponds with one end shallow and the other end deeper, best meet the needs of wildlife and aquatic plants. Ponds constructed to stock big fish such as Koi should be a minimum of 30-inches deep on at least one end; ponds without fish between 18 to 24-inches deep.
  • If edging the pond with stones or other material, dig an outwardly sloping shelf about 8-inches wide by 2-inches deep around the circumference of the pond.
  • Angle the sides of the pound slightly outward; about 20-degrees.
  • As you dig, keep pond edges and shelves level. Check by resting a carpenter’s level on a straight board laid across the pond.
  • If you live in cold areas and plan on stocking your pond with aquatic plant life or Koi fish, dig a small area at least 3 to 3 ½-feet deep at one end of the pond. This will serve as the “deep zone,” where fish and aquatic plants can “over-winter” without freezing. Make sure the area selected is not in the same area you plan to place your pond pump.
  • Create a shelf about 8 to12-inches deep on the sides to provide a shelf for plants to frame your pond.
  • Once you have finished digging your pond, check for any sharp or protruding twigs, stones, or other objects that could puncture your pond liner – even though you are likely to lay down protective pond underlay before laying down your pond liner.

This is a perfect time of year to start constructing your garden pond. Do you have any other tips to help with the ground preparation before laying down pond liner materials?

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