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How to Build an Inexpensive Pond

Updated on March 7, 2012
Pond before spring cleanup. You can see the moss is already nearly covering the blue liner. I used regular yard moss and it filled in quickly. We had a bit of grass grow in, it is gone now though.
Pond before spring cleanup. You can see the moss is already nearly covering the blue liner. I used regular yard moss and it filled in quickly. We had a bit of grass grow in, it is gone now though. | Source

Ever wondered how to build an inexpensive pond? Building an inexpensive pond is possibly. I have done several myself; some have been going for years.

My prettiest pond was made with an old swimming pool liner and has held water for over four years. I have two goldfish in it and many nice plants.

A note on the liners, if you’re cheaping out, make sure to only stock with inexpensive fish as eventually, your cheap liner may spring a leak and kill your livestock.



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Plantings around Cheap DIY Pond
Plantings around Cheap DIY Pond | Source
Pond in Process
Pond in Process | Source


Choose a Liner

A real pond liner or rubber roofing liner is your best bet. Sometimes you can salvage pieces from construction sites; ask around.

You can also do several layers of garbage bags for a small pond. They have plastic on rolls at hardware stores that people use to cover windows and small greenhouses, sometimes this can be had for cheap.

You can prolong the life of a poor-quality liner by making sure most of it is covered in dirt, sand, and plants.

Lay down padding before placing your liner. This will prevent holes.

Pot your plants and pad the bottom of their containers to prevent damaging your liner. Some roots will grow through the liner and cause leaks.

Once the pond has settled, leave it alone and avoid moving things around.

It really is a good idea to invest in some sort of real liner, even if it is just rubber roofing liner. Make sure to rinse the liner before using it.

Choose your Plants

Scan your local ditches for weeds. What may look ugly growing wild can look gorgeous when taken care of in a garden-setting. Make sure that its legal to gather the plants you choose.

Your lawn may even contain some plants that grow in water, like creeping Jenny.

Grow stuff from seed. Waterlilies and lotuses are cheap when you grow them from seeds. Reeds and various grasses grow quickly from seed and cost a fraction of what you’d spend on a potted plant.

No Waterfall!

Don’t use a waterfall. The pumps are expensive and cost quite a bit to run. If you want to fake having a waterfall, try building up stones with soil and tuck plants between them. If you do it right, it will resemble water flowing down and into the pond. Creeping Jenny and creeping Charlie are both great cascade plants.








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    • IsadoraPandora profile imageAUTHOR

      Jocelyn 

      6 years ago from Florida, PCB

      Thank you! One of the best ways to prevent algae is to keep about 1/3 of the water covered with plants. It works really well!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I've built ponds over the years that turned out very pretty. Algae is always a problem for me, though. This Hub is very informative, thanks for sharing.

    • IsadoraPandora profile imageAUTHOR

      Jocelyn 

      6 years ago from Florida, PCB

      Thank you! They get better with age. Its always better to use a real liner but sometimes you just gotta wing it!

    • alipuckett profile image

      alipuckett 

      6 years ago

      Your ponds are gorgeous! Thanks for the idea.

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