Building Natural Ponds: Create a Clean, Algae-free Pond without Pumps, Filters, or Chemicals

Building Natural Ponds: Create a Clean, Algae-free Pond without Pumps, Filters, or Chemicals

by Robert Pavlis


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780865718456
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Publication date: 05/02/2017
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 475,681
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Robert Pavlis, a Master Gardener with 40 years of gardening experience, is owner and developer of Aspen Grove Gardens, a six-acre botanical garden featuring over 2,500 varieties of plants. A popular and well-respected speaker and teacher, Robert has published articles in Mother Earth News, Ontario Gardening magazine, a monthly Plant of the Month column for the Ontario Rock Garden Society website, and local newspapers. He is also the author of widely read blog, which explodes common gardening myths, and, which provides gardening and garden design information.

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

1 Understanding a Balanced Ecosystem 1

Oxygen Cycle 2

Nutrients 6

pH 9

Algae 9

Animals 10

Trees and Shrubs 12

Plants 12

Microbes 13

Maintaining Balance in the Ecosystem 15

2 Environmental Benefits 17

Pond Ecosystem 17

Breeding Site for Amphibians 18

Dragonflies and Mosquitoes 19

Birds and Mammals 19

Water Conservation 20

Environmental Awareness 21

Less Lawn 21

Permaculture Food Sources 21

3 Natural Looking Designs 23

Native Ponds 24

Man-made Ponds 28

How Natural Can You Get? 34

The Borrowed View 35

Enjoy the Pond 35

Stones, Stones, and More Stones 36

Plants Are Key 36

Your Final Design 38

4 Planning and Design 39

Location 39

Legal Issues 41

Access to Electrical Power 41

Size 42

Depth 44

Water Source 45

Bogs and Rain Gardens 45

Trees 46

Pond Liners 46

Human Access 47

Rocks 50

Shape of the Pond and Planting Shelves 50

Plants 52

Excavated Soil 52

5 Building 55

Site Evaluation 55

Soil Type 58

Installing a Preformed Pond 58

Flexible Pond Liners 61

Digging the Hole for a Flexible Liner 63

Preparing the Hole 67

Installing the Pond Liner 69

Footings for a Dock or Bridge 70

Adding Water 72

Protecting Planting Shelves 73

Stones for the Planting Shelf 74

Leveling the Pond Edge 76

Adding the Spillway 77

Allowing for Inflow 78

Edging the Pond 78

Adding the Finishing Touches 80

6 Fish 83

Fish Care 83

Hobby Fish 85

Game Fish 87

7 Plants 91

Planting 92

Fertilizing 93

Starting Small 93

Too Many Plants 94

Plant Pests and Diseases 94

Undesirable Pond Plants 94

Selection of Water Plants 96

Workhorse Water Plants 97

8 Maintenance and Troubleshooting 109

Don't Do These Things 109

Adding Water 112

Removing Organics 113

Winter Care 114

Pond Leaks 115

9 Large-scale Ponds 119

Special Pond Types 119

Regulations and Permits 123

Water Sources 125

Liner Options 126

General Construction Considerations 127

Aerators and Fountains 128

Constructing Dams 129

Designing the Inflow 131

Designing the Outflow 132

Plants 134

Eutrophication 135

10 Pools, Bogs, and Rain Gardens 137

Natural Swimming Pools 137

Bogs 142

Rain Gardens 146

References 149

Index 151

About the Author 157

A Note About the Publisher 160

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"I love "all things water," and I was thrilled to read the most comprehensive book on designing and building natural ponds. Pavlis has provided detailed, step-by-step instructions about all aspects of ponds. He even discusses large dams, rain gardens, bog gardens, maintenance and much more. What intrigued me was ways to build ponds that did not require any pumps or filtration, and could be set up by anyone with basic skills in shaping soil, placing stone and planting. A must-read for the garden enthusiast and designer."

—Dr. Ross Mars, Permaculture Elder and author, The Permaculture Transition Manual and The Basics of Permaculture Design

"I've never put in a pond, but after reading Robert Pavlis' Building Natural Ponds, I am confident that I could do it. And, after reading the book, I will! The book is very thorough, with guidance for every step from planning to digging to stocking with fish to planting to...well, everything you need to know."

—Lee Reich, PhD, author, The Pruning Book, Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden and Landscaping with Fruit

"Build your own "golden pond" with this complete, authoritative and wonderfully illustrated guide. Robert Pavlis has a knack for making a complex, natural ecosystem seem both straightforward and accessible. Building Natural Ponds is the perfect book for anyone who wants a pond, or is eager to improve the one they already have by making it a healthy, functioning ecosystem without any pumps, pipes, chemicals — or algae. From small ponds to large, with a plethora of plant options and covering everything from planning and designing to construction, Building Natural Ponds covers it all. Pavlis is just the right person to lead us to some water in our backyards or on our homesteads."

—John D. Ivanko, co-author, Rural Renaissance and ECOpreneuring

"There are many reasons to add a water feature to the landscape. Whether it's a tranquil stone lined goldfish pool, or a larger pond for swimming, fishing and irrigation, a pond can greatly increase the biodiversity and beauty of a landscape. They can help manage storm water and provide harvests of food and craft materials. Building Natural Ponds is a detailed guide to planning, designing and building ponds, enhancing both your landscape and your life with open water."

—Darrell E. Frey, Three Sisters Farm, author, Bioshelter Market Garden and The Food Forest Handbook

"I've always warned gardeners that a pond, however wonderful for its contribution, will be the most maintenance-demanding aspect of the landscape. The dream is to create a balanced miniature ecosystem in which you don't need massive pumps and filters — after all, there aren't any such machines in a natural pond. How can that dream be realized? With nature's help, Robert Pavlis shows us how."

—Ken Druse, award-winning author

"As someone who has struggled with an assortment of pond challenges over the past 15 years, I can say with certainty that this is the book that every pond owner or wanna-be needs to read. It's always wonderful to come across an author who, like me, ignored all the people who said something couldn't be done — and learned how to do it!"

—Deborah Niemann, author, Homegrown and Handmade, Ecothrifty, and Raising Goats Naturally

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