Video: Planning Your Pond

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Your water garden-- its design and components reflect your creativity. Fountains, drains, waterfalls, and aquatic plants and fish can all be part of an environment you design, install, and enjoy. But the planning stage comes first, and it's crucial for your project's success. Spending time on important decisions, like location, size, design, and selection of features, will pay off on installation day and beyond. Where you place your pond can make a big difference in your home landscape. Experiment with some options as you envision the pond in different locations. Will you be able to enjoy the tranquil sounds of the water through an open window? From what angle could you see the sunlight sparkling off the pond? Where should the pond be placed to ensure that your family and guests get to enjoy the sights and sounds of the water garden during an outdoor event? If you're including a waterfall feature, you'll want to maximize this focal point in your pond placement. It's sure to be an attention getter. Your water garden will be an extension of your home. The perfect location should be where you and your family can enjoy its beauty every day from the living areas of your house. Sparkling water is beautiful, but too much sun can cause problems. Keep in mind that about a half day of sunlight is good for healthy plant growth. But excessive sunlight can encourage the growth of a pond's enemy-- algae. There are methods to counteract algae and we'll talk about them later in this video, but proper pond placement is the best first step. You can locate your pond underneath trees, but you could encounter trouble working around the roots. And when autumn arrives, falling leaves may lead to additional maintenance. It's easiest to install a pond on flat land, but with a little more effort you can build your pond on a slope. And that's something to consider as you imagine the aesthetics of your water garden. Your water garden will be a reflection of your individuality, each one as unique as the homeowner. But there are some considerations that will guide your design. Size is one component, and so is the type of fish you want in your pond. For example, if you want to include koi fish, you'll need a pond that's between 18 inches and 4 feet deep with an external filter and minimal plants. On the other hand, a wildlife pond can be relatively shallow, with abundant aquatic plant life. Preformed or flexible-- that's a decision you'll have to make before you begin construction of your water garden. Preformed ponds are also known as hardshell liner ponds, while flexible liner ponds are made from either PVC or EPDM rubber material. Hardshell liners are generally best for smaller ponds and are also a good choice for above ground installations. Flexible liners are popular due to their affordability, the ease of installation, and, of course, their flexibility in terms of size and shape. But the choice is yours. Is there a best time to install a water garden? Well, ponds can be built any time of the year as long as the soil is not frozen. But before you dig, stop and check. Schedule a visit from your utility company so they can mark the underground wires, pipes, and lines. You'll be protecting your property and yourself. And speaking of electricity, you'll need access to a ground fault circuit interrupter electrical outlet near the pond, a step that's mandatory for both outdoor electrical codes and for ensuring safety.
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