How to Build a Backyard Pond Without a Pond Liner

A backyard pond adds a distinctive water element to your landscaping. You can watch migrating birds use it as a way station or you can stock it with fish and spend a lazy afternoon catching dinner. Wildlife will also come to the pond to drink. If you're thinking about installing a backyard pond, consider that a small pond will need a liner. A pond without a pond liner has to be large--a minimum of 10 by 10 feet and at least 3 feet deep, and your soil should be clay to help hold the water through the summer.

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Build a Backyard Pond Without a Pond Liner
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Determine the location for your pond. A large pond can take as long as a year to fill with rainwater or runoff, so try to find a location with a natural spring, aquifer or access to a creek or stream.

Step 2

Measure the pond area and mark the edges with lengths of hose or rope. Freeform ponds need only to be measured. Clear the area of trees, brush and rocks.

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Excavate the pond. Use a shovel or rent a backhoe. Leave a 1-foot ledge around the edge of the pond 1 foot below the surface to encourage wildlife use. Create rock formations on the bottom of the pond for fish to hide in.

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Fill the pond with a hose or wait for the rain, spring or stream to fill the pond. If you are using a stream, construct an inlet pipe with a filter to divert water from the stream into the pond. The filter will keep unwanted aquatic life out of the pond.

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Plant grass or lay sod around the pond to prevent erosion. Introduce local aquatic plants to the pond. Add about 1 pound of fertilizer to the water to encourage algae to grow if you are introducing fish to the pond.