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My Wild Backyard and Vivariums

Backyard Pond Attraction
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This is my own backyard pond. Upon its successful completion I'll be including keeping just plain ordinary minnows from any bait store or pet store as a feeder fish to eat the mosquitoes. I'll provide some pictures as soon as possible.

Supplies Needed

A shovel
An ax for roots
Pond liner
Cat litter and potato sacks or underlayment pond lining
Bricks
Pond water pump
PVC pipe (to run the pump cord and extension cord through to keep it unexposed to the elements)
Plants

As far as the pump I plan to use just a standard submersible water pump good for small ponds or large tanks, around 500 gal per hour. Using Pvc pipe just round enough in diameter to fit the plug through at the pump end and a garden extension cord through the other end. My pond is a few yards from the house so I thought of doing it this way to protect the cords from getting wet and shallowly burying the majority of the pipe to keep it from getting mowed.

The most expensive part about making a pond is the final liner. Depending on how big the pond is, the bigger liner you'll need to cover the inside of it. Using an underlayment liner will cost about the same but you can also cut a corner here with cat litter, using the sacks potatoes and onions at the store come in these days to lay down first and hold the cat litter in place before adding the liner. I have some small, squared garden path bricks I'll be using to hold the liners edges down. The water itself will hold it in place but I'd rather lay bricks over it to keep the edge from curling or allowing too much dirt to slip in.

I got myself in trouble when I decided to make a pond in my back yard to attract frogs and birds. I was just going to make something fairly shallow, only a little deeper and bigger around than a standard, child's pool. But, then my hubby thought we might put Koi fish in it and started helping me dig it a little deeper and axing larger roots in the way. As far as roots, it's a bad spot right by the cypress tree but not really as bad as even thicker oak roots since it didn't make any cypress stumps where I wanted to be.

I stopped digging the hole for the winter but I'm not really in a big hurry while I'm waiting to afford the pond liner. I have some priorities ahead of it. I dig just a little after it has rained while the soil is moist and soft enough and will be starting up again soon on nice days before the summer comes and then it's too hot.

We made a sort of step or lip going around the pond at about half a shovel length from the top and this is where I'm going to end the actual liner itself as a narrow bank of liner and the garden bricks. Around the top I added allot of the dirt I dug up around it like a small dune and this is where I plan to put more plants.

I have quite a bit of daffodil and a few starters of mondo grass I want there instead of lawn grass. It rains allot here so I included the dune to hold a good amount of excess without anything like fish actually escaping.

Me and hubby are still a bit debated on fish. Koi would look cool, but I'd rather add regular bait minnows for mosquito larvae control mainly because I'd like the frogs and dragonflies to be able to breed and have young in it. Minnows might eat some tadpoles but Koi are a big fish and would just eat everything. Plus, I could put minnows in my aquarium in the house over winter. I guess we'll decide for sure when we get there.

That's basically it though, my idea of a pond is add the water after the liner, wait to see if it leaks, then add a pump to keep the water flowing. This may be enough to dissuade mosquito larvae without fish and keep the water from just going stagnant. Time and nature will add leaf litter to the bottom and that's what I want for potential dragonfly nymphs. Frogs lay eggs in more shallow waters than my pond might provide unless I can keep water up to its bank like I intend, but it would be fine for tadpoles. Even minnows will eat tadpoles and their own potential young but I can use a floating plant to provide hiding spots.

I also have some horsetail rush surviving the winter and if I can get it to come back up I can put some of this around the pond. Not directly in the water unfortunately, but it will make allot of reeds ideal for the frogs to hide and dragonflies to land among the daffodils, mondo grass and privet hedge brush along one side. My privet isn't very tall and right now it's not even thick with just a few branches. It'll take a few years to become the way I want it to look as a small bird attraction, like sparrows.

Other plant ideas I have for around the pond is move a bulb of elephant ears here and some hosta. It's gonna look really nice in about two years when everything settles in.

The Water Garden

Making a Pond

Garden Ponds and Pond Making