How to Build an Earthen Pond Part 3
Now that everything is compacted and ready for water, we can get the detail work done.
Continued from part 2
13. Dress your outside walls and the freeboard with the topsoil you have been saving.
14. Add seed and straw. We used clover. I will be planting bamboo on the backside of the wall to add stability and shade in the spring. Do not plant anything with a deep tap root on the dam wall. This covers most trees except willows, although willows will drink from your pond lowering the water level.
15. Add in any decorative or functional stone work that is needed. It is much easier to do this before it is filled. We added some stone along the spillway to slow erosion. We also added stone to the entry of the pond where my drain pipe exits to provide interest and aeration.
16. Add in any fish habitat you would like. It is important to have some features for spawning and places to hide for the small fish otherwise they get too stressed out. We used some old pallets weighted down with rocks and some ½” pvc bound together to create a cheap artificial reef.
17. Fill your pond steadily and slowly. If you can, I would recommend filling your pond immediately with a pump or hose. I used a garden hose from my well and it was filled in 4 days. I propped the hose up on a rock so it would not erode the area. The benefit of filling yourself is that the sides don’t dry out, and you won’t have much erosion of the sides when the big rain comes. Also, if you have a clay or bentonite pond, you can have cracking if it dries out too much.