By installing a natural pond at home, you will not only enhance your garden but also contribute to biodiversity. Betting on the natural is also creating a mini ecosystem where by the judicious choice of implantation and plants, your pond will self-regulate without you needing to install and maintain pumps and filters.
How to build a natural pond?
A natural pond must of course be as natural as possible. Forget preformed pools and straight forms. Even more than an ornamental basin, it must blend into its environment. For this you must make sure to observe certain rules:
- Where to dig your natural pond? In a flat place but at the lowest level of your garden.
The place should be sunny enough because the plants will need light. A little shade avoid too much evaporation during the summer.
Avoid the proximity of the trees because of the leaves that fall in falling foul the pond and roots that can pierce the waterproofing tarpaulin.
- How to dig your natural pond? The best is to have a mini-excavator. Dig with successive levels from the shallow (20 cm) to the banks to go deep (at least 80 cm) to the center. The high landings will welcome the plants. The deep part will not dry out in the summer and will remain frost free in the winter.
- How to seal and fill? You will find different kinds of PVC or EPDM tarpaulins. Remember to extend a geotextile felt before installing the tarpaulin.
The ideal is to let the rain fill your natural pond. If you have a well or if you recover the water from the gutters, complete the water level. Otherwise use tap water but it undergoes a lot of treatments and it costs more and more expensive.
Choosing plants for a natural pond
Without pump or filter, it is the different plants that you will install that will naturally purify your pond and facilitate the clarification of water by fixing the suspended matter:
- Purifying plants: Their roots host bacteria that transform all organic residues into nutrients. They trap nitrates, phosphate and ammonium naturally limiting the expansion of algae. They are the Phragmites (common reeds), hippuris or vulgar pesses, water hyacinths, sagittarians.
- Oxygenating plants: By bringing oxygen they promote the life of aerobic microorganisms.
These are the pondweeds, water milfoils, aquatic buttercups, marsh hotonie, vallisnéries, swimming hornflies.
- Floating plants: Not only, they are very decorative but by limiting the brightness, they slow the development of algae.
These are especially water lilies.
All these plants are also a refuge for aquatic fauna. They will serve as a support for the laying of your fish if you decide to install in your pool.
In borders of the natural basin, plant different species by differentiating:
- Shoreline plants that live out of the water but ask for fresh land (Yarrow, Marshmallow, Dory, Meadow Queen, etc.)
- Malarial plants that support 0 to 5 cm of water (Acores, horsetails, loosestrife)
- Marsh plants that require at least 5 cm of water and up to 20 cm (Populage, Marsh forget-me-not, Marsh cinquefoil)
Keep a direct access to the water by doing a small beach. This will simplify the maintenance work and it will be easier for the animals to come and drink.
Maintenance of a natural pond
Once the balance of your pond is installed, maintenance is minimal. It's all about limiting the expansion of some plants that can become invasive.
After a few years, scour the pond to remove the mud. But beware, it also holds a life of importance, do not eliminate it in full.
Good to know: If you still want to install a pump to make a small waterfall or to put a small stream of water, preferably choose pumps running on solar energy.