Cultivate Your Garden Pond Liner

Garden pond liners have been a staple supplementary product for anyone purchasing a garden pond since residential ponds first gained widespread popularity in the 1970s.

You may think that a pond liner is an unnecessary purchase; one of those products designed to get you to spend more money on something that you don’t really need so as to maximize the profits of garden centers and pond retailers, but you’d be very wrong. In fact, garden pond liners are actually designed to help you fully protect your pond and save you money in the long run.


Why Do I Even Need A Garden Pond Liner?

This is a good question and luckily for you, I have a good answer. Garden pond lining is essentially underlay for your garden pond. When you buy a carpet for your home it makes sense to also buy some underlay for your carpet as it helps to prevent wearing over time, adds insulation and makes the carpet feel more comfortable to walk on, but what do your fishes care about having garden pond lining underneath them?

It doesn’t make the pond more comfortable for fish to swim in (and just a side note, it’s good to keep your water cold for your fish). The answer is protection for you and your fish. Be careful of how hot your pond gets, too, like in places like Las Vegas.

digging-a-holeWhen a hole for a pond is dug, as you dig deeper into the ground you gradually unearth rougher and larger pieces of soil, often with stones and rocks hidden within the mix. Many places in the Southwest like Nevada and Arizona have tough soils which are okay for plants like an Italian cypress, but tough to dig in.

In addition to these stones and rocks you may also come across plant roots. When you initially install your pond it’s important that these stones and roots are removed and that the surface that you create around the base of your pond and its circumference is as flat and as smooth as possible so that the pond itself is not at risk from scratching, penetration or even full blown leakage.

That wouldn’t be good.

This is essentially the foundation of your fish’s home and you need to make sure that the foundation that you lay for your fish is as safe and strong as possible.

Using Liners To Stop Roots From Breaking Your Pond

Once you have smoothed out the areas that surround the pond it is essential that you then guard against the threat of any further stones and plant roots rising up and causing potential damage to your pond in the long term.

Some plants like the Xylosma, look great next to a Koi Pond, but the roots can be troublesome for liners unless you prepare.

The best way to go about doing this is to install a garden pond liners (this is a site based out of the U.K. and a place I’ve bought from before). A good garden pond liner will help to protect your pond from scratches from stones and prevent penetration from plant roots.

This will allow you to leave your fish to relax and swim and you know that they are safe because you have essentially wrapped them and their pond up in a magic cloak that wards off stones, plants and evil spirits LOL.

The Types of Garden Pond Liners/Magic Cloaks Available For Fish

There are three main types of pond liners:

  • PVC
  • Epalyn
  • Butyl
  • PVC – Also known as plastic pond liner, this is a watertight material that is also highly durable. PVC pond liners are the most widely used type of pond liners due to their cost, flexibility and ease of installation. Average thickness of a PVC pond liner is 0.5mm and they are the most cost effective kind of pond liner on the market; favored by the casual pond enthusiast.

    The downside of PVC pond lining is that it lacks UV stability, meaning that the liner has to be completely buried underneath the pond and that any exposure to direct sunlight will cause the PVC lining to start breaking down.

    Epalyn – Epalyn pond liners are made from top quality material with a thickness of approximately 0.75mm. In addition to this benefit, Epalyn also offers high UV stability and protection against exposure to sunlight. Epalyn pond liners are also considered fully stable when they come into contact with chemicals and other materials carried in soil.

    Epalyn is an extremely durable liner that is not affected by temperature or ageing.

    Butyl – A slightly more expensive option to epalyn but the differences are only slight. In order to be called butyl the pond liner must contain more than 50% butyl polymer. This is a polymer that makes the pond liner more elastic and therefore slightly more flexible than epalyn but with the same type of durability, thickness and UV protection.

    So before you go installing that pond in your yard, make sure you study up on best practices and what to watch out for down the road so that you don’t end up unearthing that beautiful pond on day. Because that… would not be good.

    Image Credit: sally_monster and Andrew Michaels via Flickr.

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