While water covers approximately 75 percent of the Earth’s surface, it seems we humans just can’t get enough. Many people find the sight and sound of water to have a very soothing effect and fountains and ponds have become popular choices for garden features.
The first thing you need to do before adding a water feature to your garden is decide what type of feature you desire. Your pond could be for fish, plants - or both - or neither, but determining what it is you want in your pond will govern the size and possibly the location of your pond.
Ponds that will contain plants should be located in partial to full sunlight, while fish-only ponds or ponds with just a fountain or other inanimate objects can be either sunny or shady. Either way, be sure to locate your pond close enough to your home that you can enjoy it year round, but far enough from runoff, trees, and other falling debris in order to keep harmful chemicals and debris from damaging the pond’s lining and life forms.
One common mistake people make when adding a pond to their garden is in making it too small. The size of the pond should be large enough for the features you’ll be adding to it. Koi fish can become quite large despite the size of the pond they live in. Likewise the plants you put into your pond will grow larger. Ironically, the larger and deeper the pond, the easier it is to maintain. Any pond containing fish should be at least two feet deep, but ponds in regions with harsh winters should be deeper to keep from completely freezing over, which will devastate your fish and plants.
A good rule of thumb to remember is that ponds typically turn out to be about 30 percent smaller than you visualized, so go ahead and make it a bit bigger than you want it.
While the shape of your pond can be anything you dare to imagine, the inner structure is important. The inside of a properly dug pond will resemble a stadium with circular tiered seating. The center of the pond will be the depth you desire, the next tier should slant outward slightly and the top tier should form a shelf about a foot down from the ground’s surface and at least a foot wide.
Professional help is your best move for properly digging and finishing your pond. The experts will make sure that your garden pond is just right for what you plan to make at home there, but planning its location and shape may be something you want to do yourself.
Once the pond has been dug and skimmers, filters, liners, and pumps have been installed, ask your professional about any chemicals or bacteria that you may need to introduce to your pond in order to keep the water levels appropriate for your plants, fish, or fountain.
Water plants should be installed immediately, but fish should be introduced a few at a time every couple of weeks while the healthy bacteria builds up.
One plant you’ll definitely want in your pond is the Anacharis, which uses up the nutrients that would generally go to algae. So, essentially the presence of the Anacharis will keep your algae problem to a minimum.
With the installation of your garden pond, hopefully the serenity that you’ve added to your yard will help to keep all of your problems to a minimum.
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