How to create a pond

The sight of water brings a sense of tranquility to the yards and gardens of our homes. If you don't have a natural water source on your property, consider creating a pond. Ponds can be as practical as they are beautiful, and when properly constructed, they will provide habitat for flora and fauna. Read on to find out how to make a pond in your backyard.

Decide what kind of pond you want to have. What function will it serve? Think about the features you like best. The most common types of ponds fall into one of the following categories: 
A natural pond is probably the easiest type of pond you can build. It does not require a pump, so proximity to a power source is not important. A natural pond is built to look like a natural part of the landscape. Since it is not stocked with fish, it is attractive to frogs, insect larvae, waterfowl and other animals that are attracted to the water.
A garden pond is more decorative in appearance. A garden pond usually has lily leaves and other aquatic plants and is built as an addition to the garden design. Artfully placed rocks, small waterfalls, and a small number of goldfish are signs of a garden pond.

Choose a location for your pond. Most ponds are best placed in locations that have a mix of sun and shade, as this environment allows plants to grow while depressing the growth of tuna. You can place the pond in a location that is visible from your home window so that you can enjoy its view even on a cold or rainy day.  If you decide to create a pond in the backyard of your home, the first thing to do is to call the gas and electric companies and see if there are any gas or electric lines on your property so you don't have to dig in such areas.  If you have a large piece of land, there may be other obstacles. Call the Department of Agriculture to see if there are any restrictions placed on your property, such as watershed protection, ask if there are any other local rules you need to know and follow when doing land work.  Don't choose a location too close to trees, as their root systems can be damaged by excavation work. 

Decide on the size and depth of your pond. If you live in a humid region, such as the eastern United States, your pond may be wide and only a foot deep. If you are in an arid region, such as the southwestern United States, a shallow pond will evaporate quickly. Do your research to find out what depth makes sense for your region.  Larger ponds are easier to maintain. They are more stable, so plants and animals have a better chance of survival. Use rope to lay out the shape of your pond and get an idea of its size. Leave it in place to guide you when you start digging. 

Dig the pond. A small sized pond can be dug with a regular shovel. Consider the following factors as you dig:  If you want to promote fauna growth, your pond should be deep enough to keep it from freezing in the winter. If you're in a region that experiences cold weather, you're better off digging a pond more than a meter deep so that the animals living there can overwinter.  One side of the pond should have a gradual slope, a sort of beach, so that amphibians can get out of the water onto dry land. Animals can drown in ponds with steep slopes on each side.  Put the top layer of soil in a separate pile. You will need it later when finishing the edges of the pond.  It is necessary to remove the sharp stones from the pit after the work is done.  Cover the bottom of the pond. First, pour a layer of sand and fill every crevice with it. Then add a layer of biodegradable materials such as newspapers or burlap. Cover this layer with a large piece of special waterproof pond material.  You can buy different types of waterproof material at hardware stores or garden supply stores.  Fill the pond with water. Use a hose to fill the pond to the brim.  You can fill the pond with collected rainwater if you prefer not to use a pump.  Cut off the excess watertight covering put on the bottom, leaving about 12 cm around the edges of the pond.

Make a cut in the soil along the edge of the pond. Lift up the cover, using a shovel, make a 16 cm cut around the entire pond. Insert the shovel a few centimeters into the slit so that it is parallel to the ground and carefully lift the grass around the entire slit, creating a sort of flap of turf around the entire pond. Now twist the edges of the waterproof material into the slit, placing the flap of turf on top to hide the slit you made. This will give the edge of the pond a "natural" look and make the pond a corner of wildlife in your yard.