So you want to build a pond? Excellent, but do remember that it will take a bit of foresight and elbow grease to do so, but we believe you can do it.
First, find an appropriate spot for your potential pond. A sunny section that gets four hours minimum of sunlight if you want water lilies or a similar hydrophyte. And a depth of around 30-50cm, less or more, depending on your preference or feasibility.
Start by digging to the pre-planned and specified depth and shape, and remember that not all liners are size-flexible – so plan ahead of time! Try to clear out ample flat land at differing heights joined by gradually sloping sections to create a more stable form. Take good care not to rip and tear the liner you acquired during the initial construction process.
Fill the hole with 5 cm of either a sandy loam or clean topsoil since sand is less likely to hold its shape. Spread the liner over the hole, fold the edges neatly and ensure its stability with pond-appropriate rocks or any other anchoring weight. Leave about 10 cm of excess liner spilling over outside the ‘pond’. Do not shave off that excess liner yet. Wait until the pond is almost to capacity, and with only 5 cm at the top left. Your liner should ideally end 7.5 cm above the projected liquid level.
Rendering The Pond
An added non-necessary nicety to your pond would be rendering a UV-stabilised liner with a layering of cement. Doing so hides the glistening and glittering of the liner and makes it look more natural. And you’re also making it safer to enter and exit to perform maintenance checks.
It can also embed and secure stones at and near its borders, safeguarding the pond from the dangers of loose rocks. Large and in charge items, such as boulders, logs, stumps, etc., can be deposited in a rendered bed without the risk of piercing and penetrating the precious pond liner. Cleaning the whole body is, yet again, a safer and more lenient process of rendering the pond.
To start the render: begin with sand and cement at a ratio of 3:1. After the base and up onto the sides, start with 20 cm bands or the render will sink and take away bits, pieces, and layers of liners in the process. When at the top bit, score it to make it rough and bond easier with the neighbouring layer.
Rendered ponds will have alkaline water at the first fill. Empty it a week after you filled it, then fill once more, testing its pH and repeat until it reaches a stable pH of around 7. Once you get to that point, your pond is ready for life, i.e., plants.