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How to build a small and cheap yard pond

Make a yard pond easily

Recently, some of our staff decided to tackle the struggle of building a yard pond. It came out looking amazing, so here is a quick and easy guide to build one! This is how we did it, you are free to find other ideas online or change a few steps.

Step 1: Finding a good location

You need a location to where you can have at least 6-inches of spacing all around the edge for rocks, or mulch. Also, you need to think about running an electrical cord to an outlet, preferably a GFCI weather-proof housing. Once you find your location, it is best to check with “Call before you dig”.

You likely do not know where underground gas, water, sewage, or power lines are. It is best to check with a professional before digging, especially below 12-inches.

Our team dug around 20-inches deep on one edge, and 12-inches deep on the other with a slight slope.

Step 2: Digging out the hole

We dug all around the perimeter, making it how we wanted it. This make sit so once you start really digging in, you won’t mess up the edge and have a weird perimeter.

Be sure to put the excess dirt on a tarp or wheelbarrow so you can easily and quickly get rid of the mess!

Step 3. Preparing the pond

Once you dig out your pound how you want it, be sure to coat the bottom and edges with at 1/2″ of play sand. This sand will act as a cushion so your liner will be less likely to rip. And while you fill up your pond, it makes it so you can move the liner around to make it more flat and less wrinkly.

Be sure to get rid of any rocks or hard/sharp edges that may compromise the barrier of the liner. Once that is done, you can put the liner in.

Step 4: The liner

DO NOT cut the liner until you get it all done. Honestly, don’t. We were going to cut the liner in half because of the way the pond was long but less wide. If we was to do that, we would have had to buy a new liner.

7ft by 10ft

13ft by 20ft

Once you get the liner all unfolded, lay it over the hole evenly. Begin to press down softly to make a “cup” shape and begin to slowly fill it with water. The water will help set the liner. Do not fill it too much, put around 1″ of water in.

Step 5: The pumps

We had a cheap fountain-pump in the pond when we started. Unfortunately, it would not stick to the liner so we have to build a “fort” around and over the small pump with large river stones. This held the pump down, but would move if pushed.

Set your pumps in BEFORE you fill the water up. Once you get the pumps put in, run the tubing and electrical wires to the nearest edge and up. This will be hidden.

Begin to fill with water.

Step 6: Landscaping

Once the pond is filled and you are happy with the setup, you can cut the liner. Be sure to leave at least 5-7 inches of excess liner around the top of the edges.

Begin placing WASHED brick or large stone around the top to hold the liner down. You do not want a dirty brick or stone falling into your pond and making it murky.

After you placed your stone or brick, place landscaping edgers all around the very edge of the liner. This is important as small particles from your landscaping materials can fall into the water. Once they are placed, WASH the stone.

We used the marble chips at Home Depot in Butler. They are a nice medium-size white/gray gravel basically. Cut each bag open, and make small holes at the bottom of each page. Put clean water in each bag, and keep washing each bag till almost clean water is coming out of the bottom. All it takes is 1 unwashed stone to accidentally fall in and ruin your water.

Place stone or mulch around the edge around your pond and you are good to go!

Step 7: Final steps

You can plug in your pumps and watch the water flow! Now, you can add in water clarifier if you want, or blue dye! We used a whole bottle of blue dye (against the directions) so a royal blue could be seen flowing out of the fountains.

You know have yourself a yard pond for only a fraction of the cost of what professionals would charge!

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