Home › Forums › SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION, ENERGY and WATER CONSERVATION › Backyard projects › Building a Pond (for zero dollars)
October 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm #513215karyn26Member
Porgy,my backs aching just reading this.LOL
Good luck with the pond ,thanks for the pics,I look forward to your aching progress.October 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm #513216mauziMember
Looks like a great project. Thanks for the pics. I think its good to do such a project – once 😀 I can relate to the aching body though 😆 Look forward to seeing the progression.November 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm #513217
Well the pond hole is coming along nicely with one garden bed prepared & planted (pumpkin & nasturtiums seeds) and the watering system in place. Note the two parallel hoses which will be the pathway between the garden bed/pond and the indigenous revegetation.
The second bed is slightly bigger and as the hole gets deeper the digging & flinging becomes harder. I need to trim an old and dying apricot tree (a lovely Moorpark planted for DD Dads 70th birthday) so am going to create a small hugelkulture mound in the middle of the bed to see what develops.
Note the different layers within the soil structure. Most of my topsoil is just dark & sandy but the hole reveals quite a few different soil types ranging from sand to dark dirt to clay to limestone. In addition there is virtually no visible soil life so I am going to start building small compost heaps to see how quickly earth & composting worms inhabit and colonise the new beds. Currently its weed free which is an absolute peach, so hopefully when everything grows there will be no weed room or should I say no room for plants with out a current use.November 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm #513218JeanieParticipantNovember 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm #513219
Hi Jeanie, love all that colour! What are the tall plants on the right?November 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm #513220JeanieParticipant
Hi Porgey I think their a type of palm theyve taken root in my pond when the stalks fell inNovember 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm #513221
They look really nice Jeanie amongst the riot of colour. How big is your pond and how do you maintain the water level?November 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm #513222
Well the pond has been dug and the “soil” spread. I have decided to create a compost heap in the middle of one adjoining bed (see pic), rather than a hugelkulture, to help compost all the winter crops, attract much needed worms to the site, and provide an easy and accessible supply of compost for the two new beds.
Surrounding the compost heap I am going to plant three rows of corn to provide an edible crop and shade & future material for the compost heap. As for the pond I want to line and seal it using a gley process that I have just learnt about but will have to learn more about this process and will need to grow the materials.November 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm #513223HummerKeymaster
porgey post=328671 wrote: Hi Jeanie, love all that colour! What are the tall plants on the right?
They look a bit like papyrus grass …November 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm #513224karyn26Member
You’ve made good progress there Porgy.
We also have those tall plants near our pond,they arent in the water just underneath the windmill,they only get watered when it rains so they’re pretty hardy.They havent gotten out of control,they just seem to grow in a bunch.
Just a side line to Jeanie re selling her goldfish.You actually need a licence to sell gold fish and you can be fined by the fisheries dept.
Although you can give them away.November 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm #513225SnoopyMember
Love the progress and design as you go process porgey.
porgey post=328783 wrote: … As for the pond I want to line and seal it using a gley process that I have just learnt about but will have to learn more about this process and will need to grow the materials.
I had been wondering how you’d go with the waterproofing. From what I picked up with my recent reading it may be a struggle “gley”ing the vertical sides of your pond. Be most interested to see how that goes.November 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm #513226
Thanks karyn26, I am glad the digging, raking & general man handling is over. I vowed that would be the first & last pond I dig but I am already planning another one but a lot shallower.
The trick when excavating by hand is to use as much of the surface soil as you can to fill your wheel barrow for moving it any distance and the deeper soil for use around the edge/closer by. Lifting soil by shovel above head height to fill a wheel barrow is hard yakka.
You can always give your gold fish away Jeanie and of course its always nice for the receiver to also give something away! The only words of warning though is if the bureaucratic restriction is due to preventing disease/pest spread then its worthwhile taking heed?
Thanks Snoopy. I have always struggled making and sticking to a firm plan so I like the creativity and inventivness of the plan as you go method. A great thing about gardening is its such a safe place to fail and therefore learn. As for waterproofing the sides using gley I hope to have success by incorporating some old tennis court wire stretched on an exposed timber frame. The timber can be removed once the pond is filled and hopefully water tight.November 6, 2011 at 5:26 pm #513227SnoopyMember
Love your thoughts here:
porgey post=328874 wrote: …A great thing about gardening is its such a safe place to fail and therefore learn…
Just had a further thought/ponder on this one:
porgey post=328874 wrote: …As for waterproofing the sides using gley I hope to have success by incorporating some old tennis court wire stretched on an exposed timber frame…
– I wonder if you can “grow” gley in a mat made by layering in old shadecloth and then taking up “sheets” of it like turf and laying it where you want it to “grow” on the sides of your pond.
(I’ve cheated with my currently underway pond and have covered the organic matter with black plastic to give me a fast start pond. Hopefully, the smothered organics will grow into a nice gley layer over time.)November 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm #513228
Having finished and started sowing seeds I am wondering what I am going to do with a big deep hole that I cant gley seal yet as I need more information, practice & materials. Looking at the photo above I am going to plant a ring of Sweet Corn around the compost heap and some Ornamental Indian Corn in the waterless hole/pond.
The idea being is the OIC will grow and provide gley materials, corn and compost carbon and as corn pollen tends to fall to pollinate the silks there is no great chance of over cross pollinating with my culinary Sweet Corn. On the other hand the Sweet Corn will be 2 to 3 meters higher and hopefully will cross pollinate the OIC that I am trying to breed as a multicolour Sweet Corn. Buggered if I know if it will work but its worth a try.
On the right hand side of the proposed sweet corn I have planted a mix of different culinary herbs, ornamentals, grains, and lucerne. The culinary herb (German Chamomile) to make tea, ornamentals (Echinachea & Viola) to provide colour, the grains (Tibetan Oats) as a green manure crop along with red clover, and the Lucerne to deep root and break up the gravel & subsoil as well as providing harvestable mulch. See what happens.
Snoopy, not sure about growing gley as it would be tricky to move and seal the joins. However, its worth a try.
So far the whole job has cost nothing in dollar terms. I have used old bits of tube and joiners to provide irrigation to the smaller bed bed and will hopefully be able to scrounge enough for the bigger bed that will need connecting now the weather is getting hotter.November 6, 2011 at 8:10 pm #513229selinaneilMember
We have just finished our pond but hubby wanted it much bigger. I will try and post a pic.
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