We've been attempting since last year to hand dig a pond as I want to raise some cattails and if I can wapatoo.(spelled right?). I am looking for suggestions on the actual digging process.. and while I'd love a back hoe... we cannot afford one right now. The pond is going to be when done between 15'-20' in diameter and planning no deeper than 4'. I am also looking for suggestions on items besides a "pond liner" to keep the water in as so far what we have dug is not holding water.
Been there, Seen that, and have the post cards to prove it.
Right now I have a smallish trough dug in for wildlife to drink from. I keep refreshing it's watercontent but I would love to create a shallow more natural pond. The only bentonite readily available in smaller amounts is unscented bentonite clumping catlitter... could that be used?
use the clay and remember cattails require shallow water..here they grow where the water is less than 2' deep..but the deeper the pond is the better ..so make the center as deep as possible and then have it gradually shallow out..
you can RENT backhoes for the weekend fairly cheaply most areas.
Bloom where you are planted.
I've been thinking about putting in a pond too but can't seem to find the time - so much to do on the farm!
Here's my latest idea - an experiment I intend to try this year: I'm going to plant the area of the pond with tiller radishes in late summer. About the time of the first frost I'm going to put pigs on the radish patch. My hope is that the radishes will open things up and inspire the pigs to dig extra deep. Once the rains come I'll see how the new pond fills.
hand dug earth dam's that should sort you out step by step, everyone says bentonite without factoring the cost for the volume you need buy and compact into the soil. It's not something you sprinkle and fill, if you can't afford a backhoe you can't touch bentonite.
Gley lining is the answer that's probably not ready for you, you've got the structural issues to deal with before dealing with will it hold water. I've been growing catails in bathtubs i dug into the earth, cattails can invade down to 3 feet or grow well in 2 inches.
All you have to do is take that earthen dam video and simplify it for ponds since the scale is so much smaller.
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