How to Build a Garden Pond Using Retaining Walls?

 How to Build a Garden Pond Using Retaining Walls?

A simple and easy way to increase a residential home’s value is to add a landscape pond. It may involve some labor, but the savings of installing pond and lake retaining walls instead of hiring a professional is worth it.

Pond and lake retaining walls use either a flexible neoprene line or a solid molded plastic shell. A flexible liner is simpler to install of the two options. There’s more to digging and conforming the ground for a solid molded plastic shell to digging a hole and the liner conforming to the hole. A flexible neoprene liner requires less labor, engineering, and finishing.

But sometimes installation conditions for the flexible neoprene line and solid molded plastic shell are not ideal. The soil may have tree roots in it, or the soil composition is rocky or sandy. Walls may not stand firm resulting from high soil moisture content. A solution for problem-free landscaped pond installations is to use concrete retaining wall blocks. The blocks offer support to the walls prior to the liner of shell installation.

Before You Begin

Consult with local building and code departments regarding zoning requirements. This might include fencing, landscaped pond size, and lighting. Never start construction without calling the local utility companies. Contact the power company, the natural gas company, cable tv, and internet service provider, and water utility. The utility firms will come out and mark the utility line locations. It is essential to contact the utility firms to avoid cutting or breaking a line and possibly risk personal harm or death.

Select a month when it’s least likely to rain. Dry soil is easier to excavate instead of soggy or muddy soil. Attempt to work when it’s not hot outside or there is high humidity. Review the plans and specifications often. Attempting to construct a landscaped pond may not turn out the way originally designed. Avoid disappointment, review plans, and confirm measurements often. Take time in constructing the landscaped pond.

Establishing the Pond Boundary

Outline the landscaped pond with a nylon rope or garden hose. Using these two items will be better at conforming to the curves of the pond. Once outlined, sprinkle flour or construction chalk over the line. Once marked, remove the hose or nylon.

An aesthetically pleasing landscaped pond should be about 50 square feet or a circular eight-foot diameter. Most landscaped ponds average 24 inches in depth. When digging the pond, allow an extra six inches. This extra allowance ensures that it meets the original pond dimensions.

Breaking Ground

When breaking ground, dig down 24 inches to the center of the pond. This creates a center baseline. This allows for some ponds to taper back up towards the perimeter’s edge. Build flat-bottom tiers approximately eight inches high. This will provide a step-up approach.

Reinforce the pond edges with retaining wall blocks on top of the concrete building blocks. This is critical as the soil is a sandy composition. Constantly check the measurements and the outlay of the pond by using a laser level. Check all elements of the job with a laser level. If the pond is not level, the water in the pond will not rise to a uniform level.

Lay and cut to proper dimensions hardware cloth to deter ground burrowing animals from damaging the pond liner. Install the underlayment and pond liner or solid molded plastic shell. Add rocks to the bottom of the pond and along its walls. Add Water!

Paul Watson

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