How to Make a Homemade Pond


Water and wildlife are just two of the immediate benefits of building a pond in your yard or on your property. Birds, butterflies, frogs, dragonflies, snails and other little critters will flock to your pond if you build and maintain it. Pond plants, such as hardy water lilies, pennywort and Siberian iris, add color and texture to your pond, while providing the shade needed to keep algae at bay. Add a few fish to keep the mosquito population to a minimum.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Measuring tape
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Rake
  • Builder's sand
  • Rubber mat or pond underlayment
  • Pond liner
  • Pea gravel
  • Garden boulders
  • Pond plants
  • Goldfish
  • Site your pond on a flat, sunny area of your yard. Ponds need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily in to support pond plants. You'll enjoy your pond more if you place it where you can see it from inside your home.

  • Shape your pond by laying a garden hose in roughly the shape you'd like your pond to be. Leave the hose in place while you take measurements for your rubber underlayment and liner. An underlayment is a rubber sheet or mat that fits beneath the liner to protect it.

  • Measure the width and length of your pond. Double each number to get the measurements you'll need to buy a liner and underlayment,

  • Dig your pond 2 feet deep if you plan to house fish or water lilies in it. Your pond top may freeze in winter, but may not freeze solid at a depth of three feet or more.

  • Clear the excavation of all roots, rocks and chunks of clay. Rake the bottom level. Add a thick layer of builder's sand atop the dirt base and rake and level again.

  • Spread a rubber mat or underlayment onf the sand and over the sides. Secure the underlayment with rocks or bricks.

  • Lay the pond liner on top of the underlayment. Remove the rocks or bricks holding the underlayment in place. Smooth out as many of the wrinkles as you can from the bottom and sides.

  • Dig a shallow trench around the rim. Tuck the edges of the mat and liner in the trench. Fill the trench with pea gravel and soil to hold in place.

  • Cover the edges of the pond with flat stones to disguise the liner. Place a few large decorative boulders in the bottom to ensure the liner does not slip when you're filling it with water.

  • Fill the pond with water. If your water is chlorinated, wait at least two days before adding fish or water plants.

Tips & Warnings

  • Site your pond away from trees to minimize debris in the water. Clear out leaves and tree seeds regularly to keep your pond clean.
  • Keep chemical contaminants such as fertilizer out of your pond. They can damage wildlife and cause plants to overgrow your pond.

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  • Photo Credit small decorative pond image by Tolbxela from
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