Ponds, pros and cons


Rocks and plants surround a small pond for a natural appearance but hide the water in this view

A small pond as the center of a tranquil spot in the lawn sounds so inviting. Besides the tranquility that it can provide you, it will serve as a place for small animals and birds to obtain water and for some to live. A pond truly is a beauty spot.

If you dream of a pond, consider some of the realities before you dig. A liner, either a hard plastic one or a flexible rubber type on is probably essential. If you live in a wetter climate, there may be other strategies. Location is important. Trees can shade a pond but more debris will fall into the water. Obviously traffic patterns and safety can dictate placement as well.

A larger pond requires quite a bit of digging. You might even consider power equipment in some cases. Rocks or pre-cast stone-like edging are nice touches that will make a pond appear more natural. Plantings around a pond or plants in the water are also nice.

Once you have a pond installed, surrounded by rocks and plantings, you can truly enjoy it. There are still other things to consider. If mosquitoes are a problem, use dunks or other controls. String or hair algae can be a real problem but there is a simple solution. Removal of the algae on a regular basis can help but it also seems to help in the reproductive cycle and can be a losing battle. Adjusting the water pH is also supposed to help. Allowing the algae to grow is a bad option. Eventually the algae will have a mass die off and the water will become a lifeless smelly mess. The easiest and most effective solution that I have found is to place barley straw in the pond. For some reason, algae will not grow where there is barley straw. I put a handful under an overturned flowerpot and the problem is cured for the season.

Plants in the water will need some attention to prevent overgrowing. Water lilies should be cut back at the end of the season and the dying tops discarded. Water hyacinths, although pretty, can cover the surface of a pond very quickly. Iris or flags grow amazingly well and can eventually take up a pretty large area.

7/26/2012 4:41:30 PM

Minnie, ponds are similar to pools in that they are a great thing to enjoy but have a lot of maintenance attached to them. We have a lot of farm ponds in my area that are just dug, filled with water, stocked with fish, and left to survive on their own. Some are used to water livestock but most are just used to catch water run off from the fields to stave off erosion. Many are spring fed so the water level remains the same year round. Spring fishing can be quite good but as summer arrives the pond is covered with out of control algae and Cattaill water reeds. But then again they are not meant to be yard attraction. My water tank is strictly used for garden watering and does have a fountain in it just to keep the whole tank from becoming a smelly mess. I have not heard about the barley hay keeping the algae out of the water. I may have to raise a patch of barley just have hay for my garden watering tank. Nice. Have a great day at the pond.

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters