Installing a Water Garden
You can create your own "Backyard Wild" no matter where you live. Careful planning and creative landscaping can make your back yard a welcome home for many attractive and colorful species of wild birds and animals. This project is the first in a series of projects which will help you turn your yard into its own "Backyard Wild."
One of the first steps in creating a natural habitat for wild birds and animals it to provide them with a source of water. Not only will your water garden be a very important factor in attracting wild birds by providing their water supply, but it can also add beauty and serenity to your yard—and installation is a lot easier thank you might think! Be sure to use our printer friendly version for complete instructions.
- MacCourt Pond, Jamaica, 100 Gallon
- Little Giant Circulation Pond Pump, 170 gph
- Little Giant Small Pump Pre-Filter
- Carefree Enzymes Barley Bags
- Carefree Enzymes Mosquito Free Water
- Carefree Enzymes Pond Builder Starter
- Carefree Enzymes Water Pond Maintenance
- Garden Hose
- Small hand spade
- Carpenter’s Level
- 2x4 board, approximately 80" long
- 50 lbs sand
- Before you start creating your water garden, you must pick a location. First, check with the proper authorities for local building codes and public utilities for buried lines and pipes. Also, choose a level area with a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of sunlight per day, avoid low lying areas where water runoff is possible or areas near or under trees. You may even want to outline the shape and size of your pond with a tape measure and layout string in order to get a better idea of how your pond will look.
- Now you’re ready to start digging. Start by digging a hole a little larger and deeper than the pond, and make sure the excavation has a firmly compacted base. All areas should be smooth and free of rocks, and any roots should be cut back.
- Line the excavations with 1’ to 2’ of sand, spreading evenly with your rake and using your hand to build up the sand on the sides. Bed the pond on this layer of sand and level. You can do this by using a 2x4 board and a level. Simply place the board at varying positions across the pond, then place the level on the board.
- Once the pond is level, backfill with loose dirt between the pond and excavation, stopping at the halfway mark between the excavation base and the pond’s flange. Begin filling the pond with water slowly while continuing to backfill. Be sure to gauge your timing so the filling and backfilling steps are finished together.
- The pump and filtration system, although preferably hidden from view, is the heart of the water garden as the pump circulates water and adds oxygen to the pond. If the water doesn’t move in a pond, the water becomes stagnant, algae grows and it soon becomes a "dead" pond. Use our detailed instructions to select the right filtration system for you.
- Pond Maintenance is important to maintain in order to avoid buildup of slime, sludge, algae and cloudy or green water. You will need a mechanical and biological filter to really keep your pond looking great!
- Finishing touches: Now that you have built your pond and know how to maintain it, you may want to consider landscaping around your pond and adding accessories such as lighting effects, aquatic plants, fish, such as Koi, statues and fountains.