Planning a Water Garden
Before adding a water garden to your landscape, sit down and have a
long talk with yourself.
Ask yourself why you want a water garden: Do you want goldfish or koi?
Or do you
just want a water garden with plants and no fish? Do you want to hear
the water rushing?
Fish dine on mosquitoes and adding a few fish to a water garden wil
keep the mosquito larvae population
down. It's a misconception that water gardens bring in
more mosquitos, because the water is moving and the fish are dining.
|Select a site you can enjoy from
outside and inside your home. It should be elevated to avoid runoff
into your pond. Runoff can introduce sediments, fertilizers and
And don't place a water garden too close to trees. If you build
you'll have leaves in your pond. When they rot, they produce
fertilizer that can turn your water green.
Next, determine the size pond you want and the type of liner. Most
homeowners tend to buy preformed liners, but a Permalon or EPDM
liners will allow you to truly
design the pond in the shape you want.
Don't try to save money
by buying roofing material or a swimming pool
liner to use as a water garden liner. These materials contain
chemicals that can kill your fish. And a blue pool liner will
reflect light, and light encourages algae growth.
Use a garden hose to outline the pond's shape, then a shovel to cut out
the design. Till the soil, then finish digging the pond.
Most ponds can be dug by hand. Just make sure you dig the pond at least
24 inches deep and that you leave a 1-foot shelf
around the pond. This is where you'll set your potted plants. For
larger ponds, rent a backhoe.
|Line the bottom with 2 inches of
sand to protect the liner from
underlying rocks. To see how much liner you need, measure the pond
length, width and depth and add 1 to 2 feet. This will give you enough
liner to lay in the hole and spread over the
edges. Don't try to skimp on liner. It's better to have
some left over than not enough.
Anchor your pond liner with rocks. This secures the liner and serves as
camouflage. Native rocks make the pond look natural, but don't bother
collecting them yourself; it's a lot easier to buy rocks.
Placing small rocks
around the edges will hold bacteria and create a biological
filter. Leave the bottom of the pond free of rocks to make it easier to
Blend your pond into the existing landscape by planting around
the edges. Select plants that hang over the edges and create a
The final additions to any pond are the most important: a pump and a
filter system. Visit several pond suppliers
before buying. look for opportunities to see what's available in
it comes to pumps, always buy a bigger pump than you think you need.
Source: Tony Johnson,horticulturist, University of Georgia College of
Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
EPDM Rubber Pond Liner
Water Garden Pump