Your garden is a safe haven, not just for you, but for the natural world especially if you have a garden pond. While the temptation to create a perfect and crisply finished outdoor space is strong, allowing your wild side to let nature do its thing is a great way to create a low-maintenance space that everyone can enjoy.
Even a small family garden has room for a garden pond, as long as you are smart about the placement. And, with a few easy tricks, you won’t need to worry about too much maintenance or expense. Keeping the basics in the shed.
Design a Natural Shape
If you want wildlife to come and explore your garden, you should try to design a natural shape. Think about how the land in your garden is levelled. If you have a couple of levels, you might find that a small pond could trickle down into a larger pond below, which would oxygenate the water too.
Whatever you design, you will need to make sure that you have a proper pond liner, a filter to help keep the water clean (especially if you want to add fish) and a few rocks to line the edges and provide texture.
Gentle Slopes and Varying Depths
Autumn is the perfect time to construct your wild pond but you must think carefully about the depth and inclines you dig.
Hedgehogs and other animals, such as birds, will need a gently ascending ramp so that they can get out of the water easily.
Using a few large flat stones and gravel is ideal because amphibians will use this area as a habitat too.
If you want to keep fish, you must make sure that your pond is deep enough for them. Large fish like koi carp will need around 1m or more in-depth but smaller fish can live in any depth from 60cm.
The reason deeper water is good is that this area will stay a little warmer in the winter when the fish go into a kind of hibernation.
However, do keep in mind that fish will predate most other pond species so you won’t achieve a diverse pond with them.
If you are willing to spend a little bit on a filter, you will find pond maintenance much easier but a wild pond actually needs very little maintenance anyway.
You will also find that frogs help to keep water relatively clean by eating algae and weeds and are actually beneficial for many species as a place to hide and hunt.
Most pond maintenance should take place in the autumn when many species have either died away or have moved on.
Removing leaves from the surface is a good idea but don’t get rid of them straight away – many species will want to rifle through for food and materials so pop them to one side of the pond.
You may also like to take this time to remove any other debris though do leave most of the silt as this is a good space for eggs to be laid.
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