DIY Network

How To Shape a Pond

Once the pond for a water garden is excavated, the contouring of the pond can begin. At this point the pond really begins to take shape.

More in Outdoors

contouring the pond can begin after excavation
  • Time

    Day

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate

Highlights:

Step 1: Create Plant Shelves

Use shovels to refine the rough shape of the pond (Image 1). Rather than simply sloping the sides to create a rounded bowl shape, level off the inner perimeter of the pond to create a plant shelf (Image 2). Many aquatic plant species are sensitive to water depth -- with some preferring shallow water and other preferring slightly deeper underwater substrates. The terraced effect of the plant shelf will accommodate the growth and display of a variety of plants. The deeper area at the center of the pond will provide the fish with better protection against predators such as raccoons and cats.

Step 2: Make Sure the Edges are Smooth

Later a coping shelf will be dug around the outside the perimeter of the pond, creating a flat surface around the pond for framing it with flat rocks. This rock border provides a margin for transition from the water out to the soil, and is similar to the coping around a swimming pool. It will also allow the level of water to be brought up to a slightly higher level in order to conceal the top edge of the rubber liner that will be installed. When shaping the pond, it's important to create smooth edges and contours. When the rubber liner is installed later, it will need to conform to the curved shape of the pond. Having smooth edges will make that job simpler. Once the shelf and sides have been shaped, and the excess dirt removed, the first phase of this project is complete. Use a tape measure to check the overall depths of the plant shelf and the deeper sections of the pond.

Was this project helpful?

Don't forget: Read comments and leave your own

Advertisement

Projects

COMMENT ON THIS PROJECT

    

Sign in

All fields are required.

E-mail Address:

Password:

Remember me on this computer

Signing in

Please enter your email address and we will send your password

E-mail Address

Your password has been sent and should arrive in your mailbox very soon.

Not a member?

Sign up with DIY Network to share tips with other do-it-yourselfers and comment and ask questions on projects.

It's free and easy.