A small waterfall in a backyard can be a great addition that provides an interesting and relaxing focal point to even a very small yard. All of the supplies are inexpensive (everything together can be purchased for under $100), and once you have all of them, a small waterfall project only takes an hour or two to complete. Unlike some pond and waterfall kits, these instructions use a small but deep tub (the handled kind that can often be found on sale at a discount store), allowing for a greater quantity of water and cooler water temperatures, which is better for plants, animals, and lack of algae. Therefore, these instructions will help you create a functional, elegant waterfall that stays inexpensive and doesn't break the bank.
Things You'll Need
- 20 gallon blue or black handled tub/muck bucket
- small watercourse piece from Lowes or other home garden store
- 1 landscaping brick
- 1 small fountain pump (can be bought at Super Walmart, Lowes etc)
- 3 ft of tubing that match the diameter of your pump (ask your local hardware store for help)
- small bottle of water decholorinator (can be purchased at petstore)
- 1-2 bags black mulch
- approximately 10 flagstones or other irregular flat paving stones. You can buy a set glued on wire mesh for around $10 and then pull them apart and/or break them into smaller pieces.
- 2 small flat rocks about 3/4"-1" thick
- small potted plant and/or other heavy flat bottomed garden ornament
- disposable plastic one gallon pot
- Outdoor extension cord (if needed)
Choose a location for your waterfall. For this small one, it is easy to create a surrounding landscape if it is against a wall or fence. If you want to have water plants in it (which will help with algae) then you will want it in a fairly sunny place.
Cut each rope handle on your inexpensive tub through the middle and pull the ends out.
Dig a level hole that is slightly wider than the tub and place the tub in the hole. Back fill the hole around the tub so that the dirt is packed and exactly level with the rim.
About six inches to the right or left of the tub/hole, make sure the ground is packed firmly and place the landscaping brick lengthwise on the dirt. This will be a level base for the water course/the top layer of the waterfall.
Set the water course piece on top of the brick so that the spout end extends about 4 or so inches over the tub. Carefully and firmly pack dirt around the brick and bottom of the watercourse so that only the rim is showing in the side facing you (away from the fence or wall). Only cover part of the spout underside and the back. Use enough to hold it in place but not too much were the dirt will be high or loose and erode easily from water splashed out from the waterfall or rain.
Cut open the fountain pump package. Attach the tubing. Fill the tub with water using a hose and put the plastic pot upside down in the tub of water letting it fill so that it sinks. The pot is for the pump to set on so that is not hanging which is bad for it. Place the pump on the pot and feed the tubing around the back of the water course piece hiding it between the course and the fence or wall. Cut the tubing so that the end extends into the water course from the back corner about 6-8." Use dirt and some mulch to make the surface next to the watercourse where the tubing rests flat.
Place the two stones on either side of the tubing and a flag stone across the top of them. This will keep the tubing from flattening and allow the water to flow freely, keeping your waterfall running well. If the tubing is restricted, it will put strain on the pump which will burn out. Place a potted plant and/or garden ornament on top of the paving stone for decoration.
Run the cord from the pump between the watercourse and the fence as well. plug it into an outlet or outdoor extension cord. Let the pump begin to run. Watch the water in the watercourse. Make sure it is level and that the water falls into an appropriate place in the tub.
Use mulch to finish the hill around the watercourse and taper off to the right or left side of the small waterfall and down to the little pond. Blend in with the surrounding landscape.
Pull paving stones off of mesh if needed. Fit them together like puzzle pieces around the rim of the tub to hide the edge. Break them into smaller pieces with a hammer if needed.
Carefully plant a few small plants around your waterfall/into the hill to create a pleasant effect. Add the appropriate amount of dechlorinator. After a few days, try adding a few water plants, especially oxygenators like hornwort and above water plants that shade to help keep the water clear.
Enjoy your beautiful small waterfall! Watch the wildlife seek out the water and don't be surprised if a frog takes up residence.
Tips & Warnings
- Use some waterlilies to provide shade underwater and help prevent algae
- Since the tub is deep, water plants might have to be placed on turned over pots like the pump
- Plant crawling plants like sweet potato vine near the small waterfall. These will grow roots down into the mulch and soil helping hold it in place.
- Check for erosion and add more dirt or mulch if necessary
- Select a location with sun if you want water plants
- Buy your supplies in the winter to keep them even more inexpensive
- Photo Credit Learn to Make a Small Waterfall
How to Build a Small Backyard Waterfall
Waterfalls add serenity to your landscape and can be a focal point in your backyard space. You can build a small backyard...
Homemade Small Waterfalls
Adding a waterfall to your backyard pond or creating a pond with a waterfall can add a lovely, relaxing touch to your...
How to Make a 3D Waterfall
Making a 3D waterfall model is a fun way to create a realistic scale version of one of nature’s beauties. A 3D...
How to Build a Small Waterfall in a Garden Pond
Whether you want to add a waterfall to an existing pond, or are incorporating a waterfall into a new garden pond, it...
How to Make a Small Homemade Waterfall Project
Small waterfalls make beautiful additions to any backyard. Waterfalls provide soothing background noise that can help to block out any unwanted sounds,...
Small Pond Waterfall Ideas
Since ponds are a popular addition to many lawns and gardens, it is only natural to want a waterfall. Waterfall ideas range...