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The Right Soil for a Large Pond

I am constructing a large garden pond (40ft x 20ft) which will have a 'sloped beach' at one end for shallow marginals.  I think I will need about a tonne of soil, with maybe another 1-2 tonnes of gravel/shingle.  What would be the best materials to use, please?


  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,144
    Using what comes out of the hole I would think. How deep will it be, there will be tons coming out at that size. 
    You can then have dumpy bags of gravel delivered from local builders merchant. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • It was already a hollow, I'm afraid Lynn, so what spoil there was went on the banks.  The liner and water are already in place, so I can't make changes now.  Would I get away with just putting gravel in there for the marginals to use to root?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,286
    You don't need to put any special soil in ... I would put the plants in baskets of low fertility garden soil and gravel, and top off with gravel ... the pond will soon accumulate enough detritus for the plants to root into when they're ready to spread.  

    Sounds a fantastic project ... any photos?  :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,144
    Ah, I see you meant to put soil in the pond.
    as Dove said, don’t do that, the plants will soon find their own way.
    when I started mine I put them in pots and bought proper aquatic soil, the oxygenators just chuck in. Now everything just gets thrown in. Water lilies, water forget me nots, all of them, they seem fine. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thanks both.  It’s a wildlife pond with native flora.  Still very much work in progress, the next step after the gravel/earth ‘beach’ will be a land drain down the slope into the pond draining into a bog area below.  The bare earth is supposed to be for wild flowers, but  I may end up turfing it if the seed does not take.

  • I’m a rubbish planner/gardener, so any ideas/constructive criticism gratefully received!
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,144
    Nick, I’ve done the opposite to you, you’ve laid a strip of grass round the edge, I’ve removed the grass from the edge to let wild flowers/weeds and long grass to grow. Frogs and newts love somewhere to come in and out of the pond so as not to be seen. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 1,139
    Looks fantastic already nick, as does yours lyn. The grass will be fine, this is mine today about a month after it looked like your edges. All sorts of wildflowers popping up in the grass, and it’s packed with froglets. Agree about the soil, just chuck the plants in and they will find somewhere to root once you’ve got a few weeks of silt on the bottom. 
    Mine thing i would do now while it’s easy is add some strategic access points to stand/sit. Believe me you will want to stand and look into it for hours, and you won’t want to trample all the flower seeds so some slabs, log slices, paths etc would help before it all gets growing 
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