How pleasant it is to spend several hours by the shady pond or lake in the hot summer season! Of course, great if there is one in the neighborhood. However, most often we spend free summer days in the country, and not everyone has the means for a large country house and the services of a landscape designer. In this case, there is nothing to do but make a pond with your own hands, especially since it is not so difficult.
It all depends on your imagination, the size of the plot and what is at hand. If you make a little effort and money, the summer pond will not only please you, but also cause burning envy among your neighbors.
Choosing a place: general recommendations
The size and shape of your artificial reservoir primarily depends on the area allocated for these purposes. But the larger the area of the pond, the easier it is to take care of it - the small one needs to be cleaned more often. If you plan to start fish and plant a lot of aquatic plants, then a small pond will also not suit you, because it is very difficult to maintain the correct ecological balance in it.
The best place for a home pond will be the open part of the site, at the same time protected from strong winds. You should not place the pond in a well-lit place: the location should be such that the sun's rays do not fall into the water for more than 6 hours in a row, otherwise it will bloom, and only frogs can live there. Doubtful prospect, right? At the same time, if the lighting is insufficient, the plants will develop slowly, and a beautiful corner for relaxation will not work.
If you decide to equip a small fountain, you will definitely need a pond scheme to properly connect the pump and other equipment. With a little effort, you can sketch the plan yourself. Of course, at the same time, it will be necessary to consider the proximity of the power supply network.
You should not place your home reservoir under the crowns of trees. Firstly, this will lead to additional pollution of the water with fallen leaves, and the pond will have to be cleaned much more often, and secondly, the roots of the tree can damage the bed of the tank, and it will quickly dry out.
Well, of course, the whole idea will become useless if you can not enjoy the beautiful view from the window or from the terrace, so when planning to make a pond on the site with your own hands, do not forget about the aesthetic side of the issue.
Rigid home pond
If you are a supporter of solid, durable construction, then you can approach the process on a grand scale: dig a foundation pit of sufficient size and cast a reinforced concrete bowl of the pond using metal fittings and cement. Such a design, of course, will cost a lot, but it will last for many years (at least 30). If you are not a supporter of the global approach, you can get by with the option easier and cheaper.
So, how to make a pond with your own hands? One of the most elementary ways to make a dream a reality is a ready-made "bowl" that can be purchased at the store. Perhaps the main drawback of this option will be that it will not be possible to come up with its original form of the reservoir, it will be necessary to be content with the offered assortment.
The most inexpensive solution is a plastic pond of a small size, from 4 to 8 m 2 . Of course, there are bigger molds, but they already belong to the category of pools and are much more expensive. When choosing a tank, you should definitely pay attention to its depth - it should be at least 0.8-1 meters. In summer, the water in such a pond will be completely warmed up, and it will be comfortable for all its inhabitants, but in winter such a reservoir will not freeze to the bottom, which is also very important.
If you decide to organize a pond on the site with your own hands and want to use a ready-made foundation for this, then first of all you need to study the materials from which the molds are made - there are also several nuances here.
The simplest and cheapest option may be a regular plastic container, but it has its drawbacks. First of all, you need to be very careful when transporting and installing - such a tank can crack even with slight bending. Also, plastic has the property of collapsing from sunlight, which means that the life of such a product is not too long - 5-10 years.
If you want your pond to last longer, choose forms from special reinforced plastic - they have a much longer service life (up to 20 years). Such tanks are more plastic and less susceptible to ultraviolet radiation.
The highest quality and, of course, expensive are products made of fiberglass on a rubber basis. This form is resistant to temperature changes, does not collapse from exposure to sunlight and does not emit harmful substances into the water, which is very important for the inhabitants of the reservoir. Such a reservoir will last more than 30 years, in addition, it can be repaired, which extends the time of use for an almost unlimited period.
The construction of ponds from a fiberglass bath is a simple process, and its result is quite aesthetic, since these forms come in different colors, and some even have a coating imitating stones, sand or small pebbles. This allows you to beautifully mask the edges of the reservoir and give it the most natural look.
We build ourselves
So, to build a pond on the site with your own hands, first of all you need to decide on the location and shape of the reservoir. Have you decided? Getting to the construction work:
- To begin, mark the outline of the pit. It is very simple to do this - set the form in the right place and outline its silhouette with the usual bayonet shovel, tightly pressing the handle in the edge of the bath.
- Add about 20 cm to the contour to add sand to the plastic pond.
- If you have acquired a form with ledges, then each level should be marked and dug separately, from larger to smaller, while remember to add 10-15 cm on each floor for a sandy substrate.
- When the pit is ready, its edges should be properly leveled and compacted, select all the glass, stones and tree roots. If this is not done, the shape can be damaged. Then you need to pour and carefully compact the sand with a layer of at least 10 cm - this will protect your pond from subsidence.
- Install a plastic mold and make sure that it is level , for this you can use the building level and the rule. Then carefully fill the pond with water by about a third, being careful not to budge it.
- Gaps between the edge of the pit and the form carefully pour sand. In this case, you must ensure that there are no voids. Why periodically water the soil, however, try to ensure that the pressure is not too strong.
During the week after installation, regularly water the ground around the pond and pour sand as needed. After the subsidence of the soil stops, you can completely fill the pond, decorate the edges of the pond bowl with stones, flagstone and plant decorative plants.
Flexible country cottage
Now let's talk about how to make a pond on the site, if there is no way to buy a ready-made tank or you want to equip a large pond with a bizarre shape.
The most budgetary option in this case will be the use of ordinary polyethylene with a thickness of at least 500 microns. However, despite the fact that it costs quite inexpensively, there are a lot of disadvantages of such a coating. The fact is that polyethylene is a fairly thin material, it is very easy to damage, and under the influence of sunlight it completely becomes brittle and quickly collapses. A pond on a polyethylene substrate will last you a maximum of 2-3 years.
PVC film for a pond - the material is also not too expensive, but much more durable, such a coating can withstand 8-10 years. The polyvinyl chloride coating is ordinary and two-layer, in which a woven mesh is laid for strength. Of course, PVC has the same drawbacks as polyethylene - it is destroyed under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, it is easy to cut and tear, but, unlike the latter, it can be repaired. For this, special kits are sold. In addition, PVC stretches better, and after filling the pond with water, most folds stretch and straighten over time.
The most expensive, but at the same time, and the highest quality is a coating made of butyl rubber: the service life of such a material is about 50 years, and he does not care for sunlight. In addition, butyl rubber is not afraid of low temperatures, so you do not have to drain the water from the pond in the winter. This is a very flexible and plastic material that can withstand significant loads, so if you decide to equip a spacious pond with an unusual shape, you just can not do without it.
Mark the pit
To equip the pond on the site with your own hands, you will need:
- film coating;
- geotextiles or felt;
- crushed stone or coarse pebbles;
- special kit for repairing a film coating;
- building level ;
- garden hose for watering;
With the help of twine and pegs, you need to mark the desired shape of the pit and begin excavation. If you plan to break up a fairly large pond, you can attract an excavator. In the process of work, it is necessary to ensure that the ledges and descents alternate, this will make the banks of the pond more stable. It is also necessary to provide terraces (at least 30 cm wide) for planting plants. Descent from one level to another must be done fairly gentle, with an angle of inclination of up to 45˚.
It is worth remembering that the depth of the pond should not be less than 80 cm, otherwise in winter the water in it will freeze to the bottom, and its inhabitants will die. Thus, you need to dig a pit, about 15-20 centimeters larger than the estimated size of the reservoir. This is necessary in order to be able to fill the terraces and the bottom of the pond with sand, in order to avoid subsidence and damage to the film. The sand pillow must be carefully leveled and tamped, after removing all pebbles, sharp sticks and plant roots from the bottom.
Drainage and waterproofing
When the sand cushion is ready, we proceed to the next stage of work. In order for the pond film to remain intact for as long as possible, a geotextile must be laid on a layer of sand, preferably in 2 layers. Next, we straighten the film itself and fix it on the banks with bricks or large stones. Do not necessarily try to straighten and decompose all the folds - let the water do it for you.
We place the flexible garden hose
so that its end is in the center of the future reservoir, and we begin to supply water, making sure that the pressure is not too strong. As the pond is filled with water, partially free the edges of the film and straighten it along the slopes of the pit. After the pond is filled to the brim, leave it for 1-2 days. During this time, under the weight of water, the film will expand and fill all the voids.
After it sags completely, you need to trim the excess parts, leaving at least 40-50 cm to equip the shores. The edges are fixed with pegs or special metal arches, and then masked with flagstone, large stones and pebbles. It's time to install the pump, decorate the hoses from the fountains and plant the plants.
A pond above the ground in the country
When there are kids in the family, one of the main problems in the construction of a reservoir: how to make a pond safe. It is best if such a reservoir is slightly elevated above the surface of the soil. Firstly, it greatly facilitates the care of him, and secondly, the risk that small children or pets will accidentally fall there is significantly reduced.
In this case, you can not do without a reinforced concrete foundation. Dig a pit in the deepest part of it, form terraces for plants, as in the previous case. On the banks of the reservoir with the help of wooden formwork, pour the concrete foundation of the desired height, for strength it can be reinforced with a metal mesh. After the foundation has completely dried and settled (it will take at least two days to do this), the formwork can be removed and the internal walls plastered to smoothness. This will help to avoid tearing the film. We line it with the bottom of the pit and fill the bowl with water. At the same time, we fix the edges of the material so that they are behind the concrete fence. After the pond is full, let the water settle, cut off the excess film, fix it and decorate the edges of the bowl.
Inventory: what you need
Of course, the construction of ponds is not an easy task, but what you won’t do for yourself, because if everything is organized correctly, the result will be pleasing to the eye for more than one year.
However, it is not enough to build a home pond - you also need to take care of it. Here are some technical tools that will be very useful to you:
- Garden tools for cleaning water mirrors from leaves, twigs and other debris. It can be a variety of nets, skimmers, scissors, bottom cleaning devices, water vacuums and so on.
- Special hoses that can withstand a long (up to several years) stay in water.
- Radio sockets - you will need them to connect fountains, lights and a cleaning filter to the mains.
- If you want to get fish, you can not do without a biofiltration unit, a UV lamp and other devices.
- Well, and, of course, you need a pump for pumping water, which will partially update the liquid, as well as drain the pond for the winter.
Rules for the care of a country pond
The pond in the garden is certainly very beautiful, but if you do not want to become the happy owner of a personal swamp in which frogs croak in the evenings, then you need to properly care for it. First of all, it is necessary to ensure that the water in it does not bloom. Of course, it is best to purchase a special cleansing system, but this, unfortunately, is not cheap. However, there is another, more affordable way: take a bag from the canvas and fill it with horse peat. Put such a “surprise” under the water, and there will be practically no algae at the bottom of the pond.
It is also necessary to carefully monitor the cleanliness of the reservoir - regularly remove debris from the surface and add water as it evaporates. If your pond is small, then in the winter it is recommended to completely drain it, and for large tanks you need to clean it completely at least 2-3 times a year, while water must be completely pumped out.
From what is at hand
And what about those for whom the size of the site does not allow even a small body of water to be placed? Do not get upset: you can also equip a small pond in the front garden by adjusting a cropped metal barrel or just a large basin for these purposes. Such a mini-pond can even be placed on the balcony of a city apartment, decorating the container with glued pebbles or mosaics. Of course, you will not hear the murmur of a fountain at such a "reservoir", but you are provided with coolness and lush greenery of water plants.