Installing a home pond in one’s yard can be a difficult, though not impossible, task for the average homeowner. There are many things that one must take into account to make sure that the project will be a success. Before diving into it, give some serious thought to hiring a full service landscaper to do the work instead. Full service landscapers are usually trained to create water features that complement the surrounding environment and will ensure that the plants and water feature are compatible with each other.
Siting is one of the most important decisions to make before the backhoes or shovels arrive on the scene. If there is existing landscaping, certain types of plants can have a negative impact on the pond itself. For example, many hardwood trees and larger palm trees should not be located too close to a water feature because of the toxic leaf litter that they create. In addition, trees with spreading roots that grow near or on the surface can disturb the pond lining. Conversely, any structure added to a landscape after it is well established can negatively impact the plant life already there. Well-established trees, for instance, do not like the soil level altered, so a pond addition near a big tree could cause root diseases or extreme stress which could ultimately kill the tree.
While most plants will not endanger the lives of the fish, there are some plants that are very toxic, so one must also consider this in selecting the foliage that will surround the pond. There are many plants that must be avoided. A few of the most common types include azaleas, bottlebrush, holly, hydrangea, common privet, philodendron, rhubarb and tomatoes. While your landscaper should be familiar with plants to avoid, be sure to do some research on your own before planting.
The amount of sunlight that the pond receives is also a crucial consideration. Too much sunlight, especially in warmer climes, can have a detrimental effect on both the quality of the water as well as the vibrant colors of the fish. If koi fish live in the water, too much sunlight can fade the koi’s colors. Also, if the water gets too warm, several forms of algae can cause the pond to become green and so murky that the fish won’t even be visible. The algae will also disturb the eco-balance that is so necessary to keep the water’s flora and fauna healthy. Once again, your landscaper will be able to help decide where to place your water feature based on the type of fish that will live in it, as well as how to landscape around it to keep the amount of sunlight optimal in your area.
Unless you have training in installing a home pond, your best bet is to contact professional landscapers to do the job for you. The end result will be a healthy, eco-balanced environment that you can enjoy for years to come.
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