The last couple years I have been getting into building ponds for my restoration work for my day job and that then inspired me to start building ponds on my own wild homestead. The ponds for my restoration work tend to rely on excavators to do the work but the ponds on my own land are all dug by hand with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. I'm slowly expanding the ponds at my own place but I need to seal up the dam on the largest one next year. I'm planning on using a sodium bentonite clay layer with a gley layer of animal manure, hay and soil on top of it to seal up the dam. I want the water to soak in slowly through the bottom of the ponds but not through the dam.
Eventually I will be building several additional large (for my land) ponds with sealed dams and a bunch of smaller pools along the seasonal stream that connects all the ponds but these pools won't be sealed. All together the ponds and pools should hold approximately a years worth of water for an average family of 4 in the United States when full. But they should hold far more underground as groundwater and I really hope this will result in the groundwater level rising at the lower end of my property which will help my lower pond stay full in the summer. At least I hope so!
For my restoration work I'm planning on building a series of ponds that will be spring fed and keep water year-round. These ponds are going to be used for environmental education activities such as field trips by local K-12 classes. This should be a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to it!
Cultivate abundance for people, plants and wildlife - Growing with Nature
Hugo Morvan wrote:Helped build this one. Natural swimming pond. Butler style.
A photo of my own tiny natural pond fed by roof water next to veggie patch, populated by plants ocuring in surrounding lakes, streams and ponds, has fish which i don't feed except slugs which i lop in.
I found that I had a wet spot at the corner of my shop and lost two fruittrees there due to drowning. I recently bought a Rural King RK24 Tractor) with backhoe and dug a little hole to see what it looked like.
This picture is the hole 2 months later. Seems to rise and fall a little with the rain, but since my land is all clay under a very small loam (loam was brought in during house build).
I may make this a little bigger (3x) to see if I can attract birds and insects but so far none have found it. I may also add some goldfish to keep the mosquito away but suspect the water is too cool for mosquito.
I put concrete blocks in to allow insects and birds to drink without having to swim. Not sure if this helps.
Anyone know of any greenery I can add to a small pond 12 to 18 inches deep?
I dug a pond by hand this year, but I don’t have pictures. It’s just uphill from a birch grove that we are converting to a food forest. We will dig another with an excavator. I will try to get pics.
Earthworks are the skeleton; the plants and animals flesh out the design.
Here’s good advice for practice: go into partnership with nature; she does more than half the work and asks none of the fee. – Martin H. Fischer
DW Stratton, no those are with liners. They're rainwaterfed, so would empty out too much in summer when the inflow is low and the outflow is big. Natural swimming pools usually are rainwaterfed, because that contains much less nutrients for algae to flourish.
Creating edible biodiversity and embracing everlasting abundance.
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US