Flexible Pond Liner Water Garden Installation
When using a flexible pond liner, site preparation is essential for a successful water garden.
Begin building a pond by outlining and marking the shape of your pond and then begin digging it out. If you dig down to the top shelf level first, you can then tamp down the earth to make it more compacted and secure.
As you go, keep checking to be sure the edges of your pond are level. You can accomplish this by placing a straight board across the edges with a level placed on top.
The sides of your pond should be close to vertical if the soil permits. Having very sloped sides in your pond will allow easy access to preditors like raccoons and possums that will be happy to make a meal of your koi.
If your soil is very soft and crumbly, you can increase your slope and the width of your shelves. In extreme cases it may be necessary to reinforce with cement for added support.
After you have dug down to the first shelf level, mark another outline for the edges of this shelf. Begin digging down to the next level. Again, keep using that board with a level placed on top to be sure your shelves are level.
Continue digging until you have fully excavated the pond site. Remove any protruding rocks or roots that may puncture your liner. You may also want to dig deeper by a few inches and fill with a layer of sand for added protection for your liner.
It is a good idea to use an underlay material, particularly if the edges of your pond are very rough. Some higher quality liners come with a protective layer attached. You may find that it is worth the expense for this type of flexible pond liner for the peace of mind it brings.
Once the hole is completely dug out and prepare the next step to building a pond is to install the liner. PVC liners can benefit from being left unfolded in the sunlight for a period of time to allow for greater flexibility.
Center the liner over the hole and lower gently. You may need several helpers for this task depending on the size of your koi pond.
Fill the pond with a few inches of water to hold it in place and begin working the liner into the shelves. Use bricks or rocks placed around the sides to keep the liner from falling into the pond as it fills.
Continue adding water and adjust the liner to smooth out as many folds as possible. Pay special attention to corners and tight curves to prevent excessive pleating of the liner as this can cause a wicking effect with your pond water, causing the appearance of having a leak.
After your pond water is full, it is a good idea to let it rest before trimming the flexible pond liner to account for any settling. Use sharp, sturdy scissors or a utility knife to trim the excess, but leave at least 12-15 inches. Save any large scraps for use with waterfalls or streams.
Now you can install your edging or if adding a waterfall move on to that step.
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