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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Overview

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

Build a natural pond for wildlife, beauty, and quiet contemplation

Typical backyard ponds are a complicated mess of pipes, pumps, filters, and nasty chemicals designed to adjust pH and keep algae at bay. Hardly the bucolic, natural ecosystem beloved by dragonflies, frogs, and songbirds.

The antidote is a natural pond, free of hassle, cost, and complexity and designed as a fully functional ecosystem, ideal for biodiversity, swimming, irrigation, and quiet contemplation.

Building Natural Ponds is the first step-by-step guide to designing and building natural ponds that use no pumps, filters, chemicals, or electricity and mimic native ponds in both aesthetics and functionality. Highly illustrated with how-to drawings and photographs, coverage includes:

    • Understanding pond ecosystems and natural algae control
    • Planning, design, siting, and pond aesthetics
    • Step-by-step guidance for construction, plants and fish, and maintenance and trouble shooting
    • Scaling up to large ponds, pools, bogs, and rain gardens.

Whether you’re a backyard gardener looking to add a small serene natural water feature or a homesteader with visions of a large pond for fish, swimming, and irrigation, Building Natural Ponds is the complete guide to building ponds in tune with nature, where plants, insects, and amphibians thrive in blissful serenity.

Robert Pavlis, a Master Gardener with over 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 well-respected speaker and teacher, Robert has published articles in Mother Earth News , Ontario Gardening magazine, the widely read blog GardenMyths.com, which explodes common gardening myths and gardening information site GardenFundamentals.com.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780865718456
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Publication date: 05/02/2017
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 633,314
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 GardenMyths.com, which explodes common gardening myths, and GardenFundamentals.com, 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

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