Monday, June 26, 2006
52 Tips for Selecting a Pond kit, Pond Construction and Maintenance(13)
19. We want to put the pond under a big tree. Will this work?
Trees and bushes near trees can look very nice but will require additional care in construction and maintenance. When excavating the pond or creek bed, the roots can be in the way. To simply remove the roots may damage the tree. As the tree grows, its roots can damage poor concrete and mortared rockwork. Also, trees drop a lot of debris in the pond. Most pond kits do not have skimmers that would entrap any floating debris. Pine and redwood needles can be particularly difficult because they can pass through most skimmers and leaf baskets and lodge at the entrance to the pump impellor.
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Monday, June 19, 2006
52 Tips for Selecting a Pond kit, Pond Construction and Maintenance(12)
There is a little extra work you have to do if the pond is on a slope. You need to cut-and-fill the site to level it out. The water will be level regardless of what we do and our rock shelf needs to be level. The actual elevation of the water level should be closer to the natural grade toward the low end. This means if you need to add 6” of material to build your shelf on the downhill side, you may need to cut 12” form the uphill side. You will need to take the dirt from the pond excavation, or other dirt, and build up the low side of the pond. Be sure to compact it as you go. Build up the dirt enough to build the backsplash (Question X). Grade the soil on the low side so the build up does not look so unnatural.
On the high side of the pond, you will need to cut out a little dirt to make this side level. The more you cut, the more support you will need to build back with rock to prevent the dirt from falling into the pond.
One last thing, the creek going into the pond should come straight down the slope into the pond. If you try to run the creek on the diagonal, it looks very unnatural and requires additional cutting and filling.
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Monday, June 12, 2006
52 Tips for Selecting a Pond kit, Pond Construction and Maintenance(11)
One of the most common mistake beginners make is to want a small pond and a long creek bed. When you turn of the pump, you will need to take enough water out of the pond to fill up the creek bed. If it takes 60 gallons of water to fill up the creek bed before the water starts to reenter the pond, the water level of the pond will be drawn down by 60 gallons. With 7.5 gallons per cubic foot, the pond will be drawn down 8 cubic feet. If the pond is 6 feet by 8 feet (48 square feet), the water level will drop by about 2 inches. If you don’t start out with enough water, the liner below the shelf the rocks are on may be exposed.
Filling the pond 2 inches to make up the water needed for the creek bed would probably work until you turn off the pump. When the pump is turned off, the water from the creek bed will return to the pond so you now have 60 more than you started with. If you haven’t planned for it, much of this water will too much for the pond to handle and you will have a big wet spot somewhere.
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Thursday, June 01, 2006
52 Tips for Selecting a Pond kit, Pond Construction and Maintenance(10)
16. How does the pond shape effect how successfully the liner can go in?
The pond shape and configuration has a great deal to do with how well the liner fits in the pond excavation. In any real complicated pond design, especially those with sharp corners, it is extremely difficult to get the liner to work easily. When installing the liner, we are taking a flat object (the liner) and trying to get it conform the opening. The more complicated the design, the more difficulty in installing the liner. In an ‘U’ shaped pond for example, the liner would have to be pulled down on the lower part of the ‘U’ so there is enough material to get into the two, top arms of the ‘U’. To test your design, consider building a small mockup of your design in the dirt or wet sand and see how easily it is to get a piece of plastic to conform. Another way to visualize this is to take a piece of newspaper and get it to conform to half a basketball, for example. You will need to make folds (pleats) to get the paper to fit. Once you do this and make it pretty (uniform pleats), trim off excess paper and remove the ball.
Many people are concerned that a simplified pond design will mean a very boring pond. A line of rocks, all the same size, around a pond is referred to as ‘a string of pearls’ and can be very boring. However, the pond can be made a lot more interesting by having different size rocks with some of them forward and some of them back on the ledge. In addition, plants in the pond and outside the rock can go a long way to softening the ‘string of pearls’.
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