2 March 2016

Wildlife Pond, Part Three

In the post I will be mentioning what and how I lined my pond. What products I used, and the finished look before adding my plants. 

Before putting down any pond liner, ensure that you carefully remove any stones, or sharp objects that may penetrate the liner. 

First you need to use some sort of underlay, before placing your pond liner down. You can buy pond underlay online, or in an aquatics centre. However, there are cheaper and different options depending on your preference, and what you may have lying around at home. You can use things like old carpet, or carpet underlay, sand, and newspaper.

For my pond, I used sand, which is just normal builders sand from B n Q's, and it has done the job for me. It is one of the cheapest alternative compared to actual pond underlay, however, that is just my personal choice and preference, as carpet underlay was too thick for the size of my pond.

As you can see above, you can see the shape a lot better, you can see how you shelves look. All I did was pat in the sand all over my pond in a nice cover, so you cannot see any soil or feel any sharp stones, I may have missed. In this picture you can see both slopes. One for an entrance and exit, and one I mentioned before, to make the deepest depth slightly bigger, and gives different water levels. 

This picture above I added a sand wall around the pond. I did this to make a top edge, and to make it easier to keep the pond level, as well as giving an edge to the pond. In addition, I have a slight dip on the outer side of the top edge. This is where the pond liner edge will sit, and I can place it into the little dip and place stones on top to hide it, once it has been cut. 

You may just about see in the picture above, about half way up on the top edge, I have placed a slight dip. I have done this to ensure the pond doesn't overflow, when we have heavy rain. As it just keeps the water under the top edge. 

Once I have finished with the underlay of the pond, I got started with my pond liner.  I believe the pond liner I used was PVC Pond Liner. You can grab this online or in an aquatics centre. These can be pricey, depending on the size you want and which liner you choose, but you do need one, to keep the water in. It is best to use two people when lining your pond, as it can be fiddly. I laid the pond liner over the whole pond and gently pressed down in the middle with help. Once the middle was down, I found it easier to start filling the pond up slowly. First we used water from an old bin, which was used to collect rain water. Just added a bit at a time, while trying to fold the creases as we went along. Once we ran out of water we then used a little bit of fresh water from the hose to top it up, while still trying to fold the creases. I stop filling it before it got to the top, as it was raining that day, so I let the rain finish filling it up. I then cut around the liner with a lot left over as you can see above, then left it for a few days.

Once I have left it to settle, I then started cutting the pond liner around the edge, with leaving around about 10 cm left around the edge to put into my dip. Once I cut it, I then place pebbles down around the edge of the pond to hide the liner. These stones so used, I just purchased from a garden centre near me, although you can use whatever material you want for your finished look.  In addition, I used old paving slabs that were broken and placed them around the edge as well for decoration, and to hide the top edge a little. With the entrance slope, I placed gravel down, so it can give some animal species an easier way in and out. In addition, some of the gravel went into the bottom of the pond. This will give hiding places to different species, as well algae growing on them providing food.

In addition, I placed a big rock at the deepest depth to provides shelter and somewhere for food to grow. As well as placing a couple around the edge of the pond, to give tadpoles places to hide.

Next step is plants, however, I have started the pond at the wrong time, as there aren’t many plant species available in shops, as it is the wrong time for them. You can purchase some online, although the postage can be expensive. The best time to start a pond is late summer, early autumn. However, I’m hoping that the frogs we had in the fish pond will find this one, and use this for breeding. 

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