Making a Wildlife Pond
Making a Wildlife Pond with a Lifepond is the ideal way for you and your family to encourage wildlife to your garden. The pond is a complete wildlife habitat in a box and as such is extremely easy to install.
Lifepond is straightforward to use but you will need to follow some basic guidelines and be willing to be patient too. Wild creatures have to be coaxed and be given time to respond.
Your wildlife pond is designed with two straight sides which will enable you to place the unit close to a wall or in a left-handed or right-handed corner if you wish; and two ornamental sloping sides with a pebble finish helping wildlife access. Lifepond is designed to stand on any flat surface and no digging of holes is necessary.
Place the pond on a flat, level surface. Choose a sheltered position where your pond will have around two to four hours of direct sunlight each day – preferably not when the sun is at its hottest.
Now is the time to fill the plant container with suitable compost and install the plants. You may find it an advantage to place a stone or one of the plant baskets next to the irrigation channel if the soil has a tendency to stray into the main body of water. Be careful however not to block the channel.
Selection of compost
Marsh plants should be planted in the compartment adjacent to the water zones. They generally grow best in soil which is slightly alkaline. Compost containing peat has an acid tendency and is therefore not suitable for this reason and is also ecologically undesirable.
It is best to use Aquatic compost when making a wildlife pond, but if this is not available then mix peat free compost with an equal portion of horticultural sand. It is quite a good idea to mix a small quantity of slow release fertiliser granules [such as Osmokote] with the compost. There is more information on our Garden Wildlife Guide.
The compost should be very moist before use
If you buy the plants from a water garden centre, they will probably come in a perforated basket. The planting area of your pond is designed to accommodate the height of the average basket. However we recommend removing the plants from the baskets but keeping the soil intact, then filling the space around them with compost.
If you buy plants by mail order for instance from puddleplants.co.uk they will come in plant plugs – then you should fill the plant container with compost, make suitable size holes and gently press in the soil around them.
Filling with water
Clean rainwater is ideal – but there is no problem in using tapwater. However when topping up after a dry spell then it is better to use rainwater if available. For more information see our Garden Wildlife Guide.