Torsten Frary

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since Dec 19, 2016
Stuttgart, Germany, Zone 7a
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Recent posts by Torsten Frary

I was busy doing other Things in the Garden and am now waiting until all the leaves have fallen. Funny you are asking today, I just took a picture yesterday:

Clearly a fake, the pond did not fill up; I had to empty my rainwater tanks ant took the picture after filling 1500l into the Pond.

I hope to be able to start building the drystone wall in december and finish the Pond before spring but I might have to reshape the deepest area before I can do so.
Will keep you updated..
3 years ago
Soil tests didn`t show usable results, anyway: Pond is holding water pretty good!

I am building a dry sone wall on the left to flatten the steep side of the pond. That is where I put lots of the stones I found and where I can get easily a ton of good clay. As I am running out of space for storing stones and different kinds of soil I have to take turns: Dig, sort stones, seal pond, transport soil elsewhere.
The pond is sealed mostly by puddling clay and compacting the soil as good as I can. It now holds about 500 litres of water and is 25 cm deep. If it holds the water for a few days I am going to seal the whole thing, build the dam on the right a lot higher and it should be good. Not sure about the levels and the exact design of the boundary yet but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
A closer look:

3 years ago
Sorry, but it seems I did not mix well enough. New Test:

been shaking for 15 Minutes, last picture was taken after 5 minutes rest.
3 years ago
I read about it, but I do not want to buy stuff until I really need to. And it seems I will not have to:

This is a sample of the soil I can have 4 free after four hours in suspension. Not sure about the structure yet but I guess it is looking pretty good?

If the pond can not be sealed with clay I would prefer a rubber liner over bentonite because the latter is also not 100% sealing as far as I could find info about it (there is a great risk of doing it wrong...).
3 years ago
Pond is still holding water and I started rebuilding the dam:

The clay layer on top has been used to shape the pond. The trench is about 20cm deep into the original ground level and I rescued some very good top soil from beeing buried:

I am going to dig the trench 2-3 m longer on the right to create a swamp zone, fill it with the clay from the bottom of the pond (my best clay) and compact it. My friend took a sample of the soil he has left and if it contains enough clay (lookin very good) we are going to get 1 m³, build up the dam, shape the inside of the pond and voila...

I got really deep into the whole thing and have the idea of building a dry wall from the stones I got. By cutting the slope on the left I could have another swamp zone instead:

A close look to the pond (holding 200 - 250l of water):

to be continued...

3 years ago
Did you use all the water or is it leaking? How did you manage to seal that big hole?

My pond seems to be sealable with the material I have (quality not quantity...):

Todays picture after 24 hours and not more than 10l of rain (6-7mm plus very little amount of runoff). This small part of the pond seems to be sealed extremely well considering the small amount of clay and effort used. I am pretty confident this pond can be sealed with clay only and I now understand how it can be done!
Some work to do on Friday and Saturday and some patience until it fills up by rain (my brother drives a Dakota and is able to bring serious amounts of water if I run out of patience...).
3 years ago
I know and I would really dig deeper but a pond on my property is limited to 10 m² and it is already adventurous to have it 80cm deep within 4x2,5m. Maybe I forgot to mention: It is not going to hold fish any more, so it does not have to be or stay really deep. When scouting youtube I see a lot of people build huge ponds and I would really love to have one too, but this one is the maximum I can do here.
Maybe the willow (that I planted before planning the pond) has to be replaced to limit the amount of leaves in the pond...
3 years ago

Laurent Voulzy wrote:
Your soil looks very porous and also it looks consistent, maybe you don't have clay anywhere on your land

depends on where you get the soil. The mix in the pond is very random and what you see on the slopes is different from what I used to seal the botton. But as I "import" soil instead of just digging and compacting I am going to test the soil. The hill our house ist standing on was build from the basement excavation and that is clay. Maybe I am going to use some of that..
3 years ago
I have to admit that it has been the idea of a great mom...but thanks!
3 years ago
Update: some throwbacks....

There actually are more stones than dirt in my soil! When trying to remove some stones to be able to compact the ground I only found more stones (repeated a few times...). I had to remove about 20 cm all around the deepest zone which caused the slope to become nearly vertical. When trying to refill those 20 cm to create a structure that can be compacted I put the dirt/stone ratio to the test:

So I am running out of material like 50% of all pond/dam projects..

More problems: The dam felt like rubber after compacting. It has no core as I thought such a small dam could just be build on the ground. Not sure if that would have become a problem but it became the solution for problem number 1! I took the material from the dam to build the pond (actually to build and seal the lowest 20cm).

Water depth is about 15cm (1/2 ft) and it is holding water pretty well so far. A friend of mine has some clay left (after building a house) that I can use to build that ring high enough to cover the stones on the left. Then I will be able to seal the pond all the way up (and rebuild the slope less steep!).

That clay will also be used for the dam that will get a core before building it up to the planned height. I am really exited to see if the pond still holds some water on friday...
3 years ago