A small backyard pond can be a charming addition to your space. Luckily, it is easy nowadays to create such a water feature.
The popularity of DIY backyard pond has made the equipment and materials required to build as well as maintain this water feature widely available in a range of prices.
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Meanwhile, a pond, even a small one, will be able to bring a calming, relaxing element to your garden. It is capable to draw birds and provide the exciting sound of splashing water as well.
However, before creating a garden pond, you had better do some research and planning first since this additional element will not be easy to shift in a year or two.
To help you create the make the most of your small backyard pond, the following are some factors and materials to consider in building so.
1. Determine Where the Pond Will Be Located
When determining where to put your pond, keep in mind that this water feature requires partial sun and shade.
The best practice is to add shade for half of the pond since too much sun exposure can promote the growth of unpleasant algae.
However, you should not dig a small backyard pond unswervingly beneath a tree since doing so may harm the roots.
Most people do not recommend planting some shrubs or trees around the pond because falling foliage may pollute the water.
On the other hand, adding some shade allow for more unsoiled water. For this reason, it is still a good choice to grow small shrubs or trees nearby. Just make sure that the roots will not bother your pond’s liner.
Then, throughout the fall, try to wrap the pond with some screening so that the falling leaves can be caught in place. Meanwhile, when spring comes, you should empty your small backyard pond for thorough cleaning.
Keep in mind that some residential areas oblige consent to put up a pond. For instance, your local government may require that the backyard should have fences.
That is why checking with your local building codes for some necessities are highly significant before planning or building a small backyard pond. None wants to get problems because of this and you will not like a child next door to fall in too.
If you are living in areas that often experience cold winters, make sure to dig the pond to a depth of more than one meter to overwinter plants and fish.
2. Get Your Pond Liners
When choosing inside layers, the options will include but not limited to a flexible one and a performed, hard pond liner. You should determine which type works best for your water feature.
A flexible pond liner allows you to be more creative. Since it does not come with exact leveling and measuring, the whole process can be a lot easier to execute.
If you pick the flexible type, it is possible to dig out the hole for your small backyard pond in a way that makes some space for plants. Besides, this liner is supposed to offer a more natural appearance.
However, you may need to use an underlying material along with this flexible pond liner.
Meanwhile, a preformed, hard pond liner is a fixed one. You know exactly how your backyard pond will look like when buying this type.
Similar to the flexible one, a preformed pond liner can provide a shelf for plants too.
3. Dig Your Pond and Install the Liner
When it comes to executing DIY backyard pond ideas, digging the pond and install the liners will be the next essential step.
The first thing you can do is digging the hole and getting rid of all protrusions as well as stones to look after the pond liners.
Then, install the liners and secure the outside edges properly. If you are using the preformed type one, make sure to level the pond as well as the surrounding area.
In case you prefer using a flexible pond liner, it can be secured by covering the outside edges with flat rocks.
Furthermore, make sure that you leave enough overlap liners to prevent them from slipping down.
4. Use Filters and Aeration for Clean Water
Now that you have created the small backyard pond, consider taking advantage of aeration and filters to make the water clean.
By building a balanced system in your pond, the environment will be supportive of the living things added to it.
For instance, after establishing some plants, you will not need to feed your little fish since the pond can supply nutrition. To do so, excellent aeration and filters are necessary.
Get a pump and filter to encourage aeration through water movement. This scheme will provide oxygen for fish in your small backyard pond while maintaining the stream clean.
If breezes aerate a very huge pond, your small pond requires a waterfall or fountain to duplicate this natural method.
Besides, a filtration system will help to keep the stream moving and clean as well. Get one that is suitable for your small backyard pond depending on the water volume.
5. Add Fish to Your Small Backyard Pond
Fish can be a perfect addition to your pond considering that they are interesting to watch. Besides, these creatures will also help eat insects such as mosquitoes and larvae.
It is possible to find many kinds of fish that are suitable for your small pond. For example, some comets acquire beautiful colors for adorning the water feature. Besides, these bright-orange creatures are not costly to grow.
Shubunkin is another brilliant fish to add to your small backyard pond. When it can be as outstanding as koi, this species is much smaller and often more inexpensive.
Meanwhile, growing koi is probably not the best choice since this fish typically requires a large pond and the raising cost is expensive too.
Aside from fish, you can also consider adding frogs to the pond. The sound it produces is enjoyable and lovely, especially in the early evening.
Bullfrogs are one of the best options for your small backyard pond since they generate deep melodious sound that seems like a cord being drawn across a fiddle of bass.
In most cases, you do not need to get frogs or tadpoles in local stores since they tend to come once the pond is well built.
If you are interested in raising frogs and fish in your pond, make sure to build it minimally one meter deep so that the creatures can hide away during cold winters.
Remember to wait for several days to add the frogs or fish after you fill the pond and grow some plants around it.
6. Pick the Right Plants for Your Pond
In addition to fish and frogs, plants can be another essential part of your small backyard pond. Some of them will float freely while others may be sunk in containers to the underside.
Several plants love shallow water and can be put on the shelf that is created while digging the pond. Now, the question is which plant should you pick for this soothing water feature?
If creating a balanced visual harmony is your primary goal, grow some cultivars for both vertically and horizontally. You can pick those who have different textures of forms and foliage to provide a charming, natural look.
Try to shop around and find the best fit for your small backyard pond. Some plants can be a bit costly while others are less expensive. Prices may vary as well, depending on where you buy the products.
When shopping around, make sure to check the tags carefully. You can treat tropical plants as annuals and set them around the pond. Then, bring them inside like houseplants when the weather is bad.
Meanwhile, other plants can be sunk or concealed away into the stream throughout the cold months.
Then, if the plants you buy should be put in the water, do so. Otherwise, providing a container or something to keep it soaked will be highly appreciated too.
Do not forget to skip invasive species since they may end up overcrowding your backyard. Here are some good options to choose from when buying plants for small backyard ponds and waterfalls.
Water lettuces acquire tiny foliage and tend to grow depending on their environment’s size. Their leaves typically develop into an interesting swirling rosette shape.
This plant makes a good choice since its roots can supply food and provide spawning areas for fish. Meanwhile, the thick leaves will increase the levels of oxygen in the water while introducing a fascinating floating visual.
Instead of floating species, you may prefer small marginal plants for the small backyard pond. At this point, cardinal flowers can be the right option.
Cardinal flowers offer enchanting, greatly vibrant scarlet blossoms that can draw a huge variety of hummingbirds and pollinators to your small pond.
If you want to add a submerged plant, anacharis can be the best choice since it is appropriate for any size of the pond, as long as the water is minimally several inches deep.
For a very small backyard pond, you may try to place this submerged plant in tiny containers so that it remains little and do not outgrow the environment.
This plant owns vibrant, feathery foliage that helps to keep your pond’s water lean while maintaining the necessary oxygen. Besides, anacharis can serve a nice place for small fish and invertebrates too.
Dwarf Water Lily
The beauty of dwarf water lilies will make any small backyard pond appears charming and inviting. This floating plant can generate flowers in different colors including yellow, pink, white, and purple.
For a small pond that is located in full sun to partial shade, dwarf water lilies can be a great choice. Just make sure to trim the rhizomes regularly so that the plants will not take too much space in the water.
7. Maintain the Cleanness of Your Pond
Aside from decorating your small backyard pond to look beautiful, you need to make sure this water feature stays clean too.
Adding a few plants, especially the floating ones, will help to prevent algae from building up by supplying more oxygen. Besides, they can become a nice shade for the stream too.
When it comes to combating algae, you can try adding a block of barley straw too around the pond. This is an affordable method to fight the species.
Consider consulting with your pond equipment dealers to pick the right size or amount of the barley straw.
Then, if you are planning to add fish, never overcrowd your pond with them since they may foul the water.
Furthermore, it is also crucial to prevent leaves from falling into the small backyard pond. Keep in mind that decay can generate dangerous ammonia in the water. Thus, simply skim or pick the foliage out regularly.
You can sometimes pour fresh water into the pond as well. After that, utilize some of the streams to irrigate your container plants too.
Throughout spring, it is highly recommended to clean your small backyard pond. You can first capture the tadpoles and fish for moving to another container.
Next, cleanse the pond’s base of any plant waste or other substances. For a more thorough sanitization, do not forget to squirt and scrub down the liner too.
However, you should not employ detergent, bleach, or even soap as the chemicals to clean the pond since they may also kill your fish.
After this comprehensive cleaning, wait for a day or two before placing the fish into the pond again once it has been refilled.
8. Ending Thoughts
Overall, creating a small pond in your backyard or garden will serve a beautiful visual and a soothing sound for the space.
While it seems to be a great idea, keep in mind that your pond may draw other wildlife. If you put some fish, just make sure to provide enough stones for them to hide away when predators like cats or raccoons come.
Now, you do not need to hesitate for building a small backyard pond. The above information will help to make the most of your water feature.