More than just a Preformed Pond
Traditionally, preformed ponds are large shells, which are extremely burdensome and difficult to transport. For example, a typical preformed pond kit would come in a box that is 60 x 48 x 24 , which is too large for many car trunk sizes. Liner kits, on the other hand, present many difficulties for the beginner pond gardener. Since every liner pond shape is different, pond gardeners must customize their own pond and ensure that it is level, and that it does not have excessive wrinkling.
Recently, manufacturers have helped leverage both these problems by introducing a flexible preformed pond. The folding preformed/liner hybrid is created with a proprietary blend of materials, which allows it to hold a customized shape. Yet it is easily transportable, since a typical folding kit comes in a box one-sixth the size of a regular preformed kit.
The only problem with existing folding pond shells was that they were usually solid black in color. Black is a color that does not occur naturally in a pond environment, nor is it very easy to disguise. No matter how much landscaping you apply around the black shell, it is still extremely difficult to hide the fact that you are using a preformed pond.
There are many preformed rock pond shells in the market, but these tend to be extremely large and cumbersome. However, one manufacturer, Algreen Products Inc., has recently introduced a new granite flexible rock pond kit. This new folding pond shell has all the benefits of its black preformed predecessor, but both the pond and the streamlet look like rock.
The new folding rock pond includes 3 built-in plant shelves, is weather-resistant, and is able to withstand extreme temperatures from 0 F to 105 F. Each pond shell features textured ridges, which are strategically placed to allow beneficial bacteria to form growth colonies, which significantly reduces algae-buildup in the pool.
Currently, there are two sizes of granite pond shells available from GardenSuperMart (GardenSM.com): a 144 gallon shell, and a 72 gallon shell. They both come complete with a matching streamlet, a pump, and fountain heads. For more information about these kits, please go to http://www.gardensupermart.com/buypond/pics/granite_preformed.html.
Installation Instructions for Preformed Ponds
After you have unfolded a folding preformed pond, its installation is no different than for a regular preformed pond. To follow are instructions on how you can install a folding pond kit.
Unroll the pond and streamlet. Once the streamlet is unfolded, push the sides and let stand for one hour to fully expand (preferably in direct sunlight). Push on the inside of the pond to open it fully. Once the pond is open, and the sides are up, let stand for one hour to fully expand. Dig out a marked area that is slightly larger than the depth and perimeter of the pond. Remove all debris (stones, roots, etc.) to avoid punctures and warps. Cover the bottom of the hole and shelves with a thin layer of sand. Place the pond in and ensure that it is level in all directions. Ensure that the leveled pond is just above the ground level. Start to fill the pond with water. While the pond is filling, backfill the edges with sand or fine soil. It is important to backfill with sand while filling with water to ensure that the wall does not warp or bend. Check the level of the pond (with respect to the ground) as frequently as possible because the pond may shift. Be sure that the soil is tightly packed around the pond for maximum support. Place flat rocks such that they slightly overhang the edge of the pond. Landscape the pond to your liking. You can now add a pump, a waterfall, a fountain, fish, aquatic plants, lights, and other accessories to your pond!
- Remove the folded pond (and streamlet) from the box and cut the tape.
Tip: A common mistake made by beginners is the failure to take into account how to dispose the large amount of soil that will be removed during the excavation.
Gerry Fung is the Vice President of GardenSM.com.
For more information about the granite preformed rock kits, please go to http://www.gardensupermart.com/buypond/pics/granite_preformed.html.