Build a Plastic Garden Pond in 6 Steps

Garden pond surrounded by rocks and landscaping
  • 3-5 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Pond liner
What You'll Need
Pond liner

Building a plastic garden pond is a straightforward do-it-yourself project because the “shaping” part of the pond has been done for you. Follow these steps and you will have a beautiful garden pond to enjoy within a weekend.

Step 1 - Pick a Location

If you place the pond under shady trees, you will either have to remove fallen leaves regularly or keep changing the filter, if you use one. Also, you will want to limit the varieties of aquatic plants that you place in your pond. An ideal situation for the pond would be close enough to the house for you to enjoy it without having to wander too far, and somewhere that receives between four and six hours of direct sunlight per day.

Step 2 - Dig the Hole

backyard pond with waterfall

The best way to measure the area you need to dig is to put the plastic garden pond upside down and mark its circumference with a rope, spray paint, or even a thin line of flour. Dig the hole to a suitable size. Stop when you think you are nearly there to check that the plastic liner will fit, and that its top will be level.

Step 3 - Cover the Edges if Necessary

When you have fitted the plastic garden pond, cover the edges with stones if necessary. However, some pre-formed ponds are so realistically in the style of natural stone that no further embellishment is needed.

Step 4 - Fill with Water

Ideally, wait for the pond to fill with rainwater. This will ensure that the pond is as natural as possible. However, if you are on a deadline, you can fill the pond from an outside tap as long as you use purifying tablets before introducing fish or aquatic plants. Most importantly, tap water is chlorinated, so the chlorine needs to be removed before the fish or aquatic plants are placed inside your pond.

Step 5 - Add Plants

frog on a lily pad in a pond

Plants need to be added to your plastic garden pond as soon as your pond has been filled. If you have purchased them from a garden center they will probably come with some soil in their pot, and this is all that is needed to be put in the pond with them. You may also wish to add some gravel, to protect the plants from fish.

Step 6 - Add Fish

Add fish to your plastic garden pond a few days after the plants have been added. Ideally, you will want to place your fish in the pond a few weeks after the plants have been added. This is because they will develop a stable ecosystem for the fish to enjoy.