Every year I get asked the same questions. How do I build a pond? Where do I start? How can I build my own backyard oasis without breaking the bank? And, I tell them it’s simple, you start by digging a hole. No, it’s not that simple but It’s a start.
Realistically ponds are not cheap to build but if you play it smart you can save yourself a ton of money. Mainly, if you do it yourself. Is that the easiest option? No, but it will save you money.
Dig a Hole
One way to save money on a pond is to dig the hole by hand. This is not easy and is a ton of work depending on the size. If you’re building a large pond I would suggest having someone dig the hole using machinery. My pond is roughly 14 feet wide and 20 feet long and 3 ft deep at the deep end. I dug the pond by hand and I wouldn’t do it again if I had to do it over. That’s a lot of earth to move with a shovel.
Shop Around for a Quality Liner
You will want a good liner which can cost a lot of money, so shop around first. I purchased my 40-year liner on eBay. I was able to purchase the liner before the season started saving me money. Make you buy a liner a little larger than needed. There is plenty of pond calculators online to help you get the right size.
Rocks are very expensive but there are ways to save money when buying rocks. I picked up most of my rocks at a stone company scrap yard. Call nearby stone companies to see if they have scrap pieces available.
I was able to pick my own stones from a company that sold or built stone walls, walkways, and patios. They had their very own rock quarry on site. I was able to fill a truck full for only $25. That’s a huge saving. I visited the quarry on many occasions to pick up the various pieces over the years for more projects around the house.
Plus, I was able to pick exactly the size, color, and shape of the rocks making it easy to design the pond. That’s a win-win.
Purchase Plants in Various Locations
Pond plants can be difficult to find locally. And, if you find them in your town they may be quite expensive. Try shopping around for different types of plants to add to your garden.
There are many types of plants that can easily be grown in water. For instance, Hostas which is easily found in nurseries and gardens everywhere can be grown in a pond.
Start out small. You don’t have to start with large plants.
Buy plants on eBay. I’ve bought pond plants cheaply on eBay with little problems. They arrive quickly and are ready to plant.
Filteration is important with many options for different size budgets. There are many ways to build your own filtration system cheaply using items from the dollar store.
Start with a good pump for the size of the pond and go from there.
A bog is more expensive to build, but after a few years, it saves time and money.
You don’t have to purchase large Koi you can easily purchase goldfish for your pond. They might not be as colorful or desired as koi but they are a lot cheaper. In time some goldfish can become quite large and entertaining to watch.
If you must purchase have koi for your pond check with local pet stores for small koi at a reasonable price.
I was able to pick up 4in koi at a pet store fairly cheap. The coolest thing about koi is they grow quickly. Watch them grow instead of spending over $100 on one fish.
Besides, I would cry if my $100 fish croaked overnight. Wouldn’t you?
These are just a few ways to save on money when building your dream oasis. Spend time shopping around before making any of your purchases. It’s possible to build that pond without breaking the bank if you keep track of your spendings. I built my pond without spending a ton of money. Don’t forget, you can also buy it as you go. Each year I add new plants, rocks, or new cute creatures.
Have fun with the build and don’t stress about it.