Step 2 in Building the Dream Water Garden – Excavating the Pond

06/07/2017

Once you’ve chosen the perfect location for the new water garden, it’s time to start the excavation process. The steps below will help you set the foundation for a professional-looking pond:

  1. Use a garden hose, string, chalk powder and/or spray paint to lay out the shape of the pond for digging. Adjust as necessary to avoid roots, utilities, and other obstacles during installation. Don’t forget to call 811 before you dig!
  2. Excavate the soil to about 8 inches deep: Hint: that is thePond 1 standard depth of a shovel head. Decide where the level shelf or shelves will be. Make them shapely large so you can enter and exit the pond safely…and don't forget a location to place plants. Paint the next level and dig it out 8 inches. Repeat this process until you reach the desired depth.
  3. As you excavate the pond, it is important to cut a shallow edge at about 1-4 inches deep and 12-15 inches wide beyond the pond rim for coping. This will allow you to place rocks around the edge, keeping the liner out of sight.
  4. A standard water garden depth is 24 inches (2 feet), but check your local codes for requirements. Use a string level to ensure that you will have a uniform water level with respect to your skimmer opening and the pond edge. If you are constructing a waterfall or stream, be sure to move the excavated dirt to its location and begin forming the shape.