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You don't have to start with a full-size pond, to get your "feet wet"! You don't have to start with a full-size pond, to get your "feet wet"!  You can enhance the beauty of your deck or backyard by building a small water garden. Use a glazed ceramic or plastic container or a wooden half-barrel lined with plastic as the "pond". Then add a few small aquatic and marsh plants as well as a few fish to complete a charming new water pond!

Things you may need 

  • Ceramic or plastic container or wooden half-barrel
  • Plastic liner
  • Optional water pump, nozzle, and electrical outlet
  • Water (of course!)
  • Plant pots (plastic)
  • Soil made for aquatic plants 
  • Aquatic plants (water lilies, etc)
  • Newspaper & Decorative gravel

First install the pond container liner. If you're using a wooden half-barrel,  line it with a sheet of pond liner.  Partially fill the pond container with water in order to hold the liner in place while you trim it. Fasten the upper edge of the liner to the top of the pond container, just inside the rim. 

Place the plastic liner between the pond container surface and the narrow wooden or metal strips. 

Fasten together with galvanized screws. If necessary, empty the container and position it where you want your water garden to be located. 

Place the container on a sturdy, level surface where it will receive a few hours of sunshine each day. The tub may weigh up to 10 lbs per gallon of water once filled.  You can partially bury the container in the ground. Doing this, helps in hot climates where the summer sun will overheat small above-ground water gardens. 

Fill your container with water until it is about 2/3 full. Wait at least 24 hours before adding any plants. If you plan to add fish to the pool, you should use a water conditioner, to neutralize any chemicals before adding your fish.

You should also install a water pump to circulate the water. For the soothing sound of splashing water, use a small fountain attached to a re-circulating water pump. Read ALL instructions regarding the safety of the pump! Note:  Floating plants, such as water lilies, do better without water splashing on their leaves. 

Add any plants that you want to your new water pond!  Place newspaper over the  holes in the pots to prevent soil from getting out. 

Quick Tip
Plants should cover about 1/2 to 3/4 of the water's surface.

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