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Soil over pond liner in a wildife pond

Hi everyone,

We're currently making our pond and are near the liner stage. I've got a book on Wildlife Ponds and it says that you should have about 10cm of soil over the whole pond liner. This is so that plants can be planted directly in to the soil. We're thinking we'd use baskets for planting but is it a good idea to layer in soil anwyay, or if not should there be soil in the bottom anyway?

Thanks for any help,

Lucid image

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,078

    I think soil over a liner is fine for a huge wildlife pond - you know, really huge, the sort you could have a small rowing boat on - but growing plants direct in soil in a smaller wildlife pond will result in them growing uncontrollably.  Better to grow them in baskets then you can split, divide, renew, replant, control etc as needed. 

    We put some pea shingle (just a little) in the bottom of our small wildlife pond - it soon built up its own layer of sludge which is what the invertebrates etc need. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    Thanks Dovefromabove for your very helpful post. My partner also thought it would build up it's own sludge, but we'll perhaps do what you've suggested with the pea shingle.

    Is it also pea shingle that should be placed on the top of aquatic baskets to stop the soil coming out when submerged? Also, instead of aquatic compost can we use the pond subsoil, which for us is pure clay type soil? Or is it better to go with the aquatic compost?

    Thanks,

    Lucid image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,078

    I would only use aquatic compost for the plants in a small pond.  You can use pea shingle on top of the compost in the pots, but give it a good wash in a bucket first, as it comes complete with a good layer of sand which will make the pond cloudy.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • we used some kiddies play sand in the bottom. Just enough to cover the bottom. Plants are in pots or floaters. 

  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    Thanks Dovefromabove and Gillian53. Liner and water is in - we need to try to finish the rock edges tomorrow and then build our mini rockery and hibernaculum. I've already been trying to pick out which plants we'll go for and can't wait to get them planted in there next week.

    Lucid image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,078

    I hope we're going to get some photos .... image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    There will be photos - I'll probably start a thread once we've finished to post the progress photos on to. Then hopefully in the Spring an update photo showing some growing plants and new wildlife. image

    Lucid image

  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    The pond constructing is still in progress but the water is a little murky at the moment. My partner has been wading in there to sort out the rock edges, and mud has gotten in through that, and I think some stuff has come off of the rocks in to the water. Is this the type of thing that will clear up once plants and wildlife are in there to regulate it etc? Am hoping we haven't given it a bad start already.

    Lucid image

  • LucidLucid Posts: 385

    Hi everyone,

    I thought I'd give some photo updates on how our pond is doing so far:

    September 2015 - Pond and levels dug

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    September 2015 - Liner and water in, and start of rock edging

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     September 15 - Rock edging and pebble beach finished

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    September 2015 - Plants ready to go in (purple loosestrife; flowering rush; water mint; iris versicolour rowden cadenza; lesser spearwort; marsh marigold; spiked water milfoil (oxygenator); and duckweed.

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    September 2015 - Plants in place and water starting to clear

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    October 2015 - Construction of the hibernaculum and mini rockery

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    October 2015 - Completed hibernaculum and mini rockery

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    February 2016 - Pond approaching Spring

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    I've waiting for another couple of plants to add to the pond - frogbit and water forget-me-not, but then the planting inside the pond will be completed. We've still got a lot of work to do around the edges and finishing the rockery area, but I'm really hoping it'll start to look nice in a few months.

    So far I've only seen the larger birds coming to bathe in the pond, but I hope once the plants around the edge take off, that the smaller birds will come too.

    Lucid image 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,902

    Lovely Lucid - it's really coming on  image

    The planting is what really helps to set everything off. Once it all gets going it will be terrific. The more places for wildlife to hide and inhabit, the better. I have loads of different birds using mine  now - they love a good bath and a splash image

    Are you putting some climbers on your fence? 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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