How to Build Granite Rock Ponds

Considerations when Building a Granite Rock Pond

By Mark J. Donovan

If there is one thing that New Hampshire is known for it is granite. Consequently granite rock ponds are probably more common in this state than anywhere else in the country. Albeit, not all of the granite rock ponds are manmade.

Many are naturally formed due to the high content of granite in the state. It’s not surprising since New Hampshire’s nickname is the “Granite State”. With the popularity of coy ponds for backyard features, many people in New Hampshire have built granite rock ponds that double as coy ponds.

Once you’ve decided to build your own granite rock pond you need to come up with a design.

Common designs include circular or kidney shaped. Using a preformed shell is the fastest solution for building a small granite rock pond, however it is not as creative and there are limited sizes to choose from. It’s also difficult to transport home in a vehicle unless it is a very small pond. They can also be difficult to work with if your backyard soil is difficult to work with. For example if you buy an 18 inch deep shell but can only dig down 12 inches due to ledge you’ve got a real problem building your granite rock pond.

Alternatively you can build your own custom granite rock pond using a flexible pond liner. Pond liner kits also create their share of challenges, particularly as it comes to designing them and ensuring that they are level and free of wrinkles. The last thing you want is to develop a granite rock pond that has all of the water pooling up at one end of it, and the other side exposed all wrinkled up.

As an alternative to a stiff preformed shell or a liner kit, there are also flexible preformed pond shells on the market that blend the best of both worlds.

With flexible pre-formed shells you can fold the hybrid shell/liner into a customized shape to meet your specific needs. What’s also nice about this type of solution is that it is flexible enough that it is easily transportable from the home improvement center to your home. Flexible granite pond liner kits can be purchased with either a black surface or a surface that resembles a granite rock pond. They also come in a variety of sizes and include multiple levels for supporting plants and granite rocks around the shell.

Regardless of the type of preformed granite rock pond shell you purchase they are all weather resistant and can withstand extreme temperatures. They are also designed to reduce algae growth, while at the same time supporting beneficial bacteria growth.

So once you’ve selected your type of pond liner, you can begin the task of actually building your granite rock pond. When installing your rock pond make sure that it is level. Once you’ve dug out the hole for it, tamp it down with a tamper to compact the soil and to check that it is level. Also, after installing the rock pond shell or liner make sure it is well supported from the back side with sandy soil.

After installing the pond liner kit or preformed shell you can begin to stack the granite rocks along the edges of the liner/shell. Also, as you place the granite stones in place install any required tubing behind the rocks. As you layer and stack the rocks make sure to check that they are horizontally level as you work your way up the side walls of the pond liner. Once the side walls have been filled with rocks, you can cap of the top of the granite rock pond with additional stones.

After creating the rock pond sides and cap, you can then install the pump and add round stones to the bottom of the pond to complete the project.

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