A water feature or small pond can make a beautiful addition to your lawn. Either one could also double as a bird bath or a sanctuary for native wildlife. Spring is a great time to undertake these sorts of backyard spruce ups, which may even add value to your home.
The key with any backyard landscaping is to limit the damage you cause to the existing surroundings. There’s no point in putting in a beautiful water feature if you destroy your lawn, shrubs, pavers or garden beds in the process. If you do damage part of your lawn in the process, you can buy turf rolls to patch up the area. A good idea to help it establish quickly will be to spread a starter fertiliser like Lawn Launcher on the soil prior to laying the turf over the top. Make sure you lay the turf neatly with no gaps in between and have good soil contact to help the roots from the turf easily establish into the soil.
If the damage isn’t too bad and new turf isn’t required, you can simply give the grass an aerate, fertilise and give it time to recover.
One of the easiest ways to install a water feature is to buy a waterproof planter, bird feeder, pond or fountain. This will save you from too much digging or site preparation. There are many options available from your local nursery, gardening centre or Bunnings store. The important thing is to make sure your feature of choice is built to last and is watertight. If you intend on having fish, frogs or other water-based animals or if you just want to add a bit of pizazz to your water feature, you’ll need to consider a pump as well.
If you need to remove some turf in the area where you are installing your water feature, you have a couple of options. Firstly, if the area isn’t overly large, you should be able to remove the grass with a shovel. This might also be a good time to use the grass to patch up another area of your lawn. If you need an easier way to remove the turf, you can hire a turf cutter for the day from most landscaping or hire companies. This turf cutting machine is relatively easy to use and will do all the back breaking hard work for you.
As a general guide, here is what you’ll need to do…
Step 1: Install Power
If you are installing a pump, you will need to have an electrician install a water-proof power outlet nearby. Alternatively, you can disguise an extension lead provided you keep it dry and it doesn’t become a hazard.
Step 2: Connect your pump
Drill a hole for your power cord if there is no drainage hole at the base of your water feature. This will allow you to run the power cord through the hole from your pump to the outside.
Step 3: Make it watertight
Plug the hole with water-proof filler, like Knead It Aqua. Be sure to firmly press the filler in and around the cord to ensure there won’t be any leaks! This should harden within half an hour or so, then you can then test to see if everything is watertight.
Step 4: Create your water environment
This step is really up to you. Add some water plants, rocks or other interesting features. There are endless options here. Making sure your water feature blends in with the environment and lawn will be key.
Step 5: Fill with water
Turn on the hose. Once the feature is full to your required level, switch on the pump and enjoy!
If you are unsure of any of these steps, ask your local nursery for advice before you get yourself in-to deep water.
In most cases, depending on what you are wishing to achieve, you could have your backyard water views sorted all in a weekends work!
Your lawn is a feature of your backyard as well. So make sure you are able to keep your grass maintained easily without the water feature becoming a difficult obstacle to navigate around. Best to use a whipper snipper or brush cutter around the water feature. Then mow your lawn afterwards for a clean and tidy finish.