Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
Whether your yard is large or small, a pond is a great way to add the sound of running water, plants and a few fish to your patio. You will need some sort of vessel, water, a pump and a little creativity.
First decide what kind of water container you will use. Look around or check with friends to see what someone might have available that you can repurpose. A popular favorite right now is an upcycled antique claw tub or a galvanized stock tank from a feed store. These sit atop the ground so that no digging is required – a definite plus – and will be easy to add plants and fish to, and easy to maintain. There are small preformed ponds available at big box stores as well.
If you place your container on your patio no leveling will be required and there is usually access to an electrical outlet for the pump to circulate the water. Small pumps are available where ponds are sold and are relatively inexpensive. If your pond will sit in the sun, there are also solar pumps available. Some of these also have a battery backup but in West Texas that probably won’t be required since our days of no sun are few and far between.
Water plants are available locally and add interest to your pond.
I came across this picture of a 4’ x 4’ wooden box resembling a raised bed placed on a piece of thick plastic (to keep grass and weeds out). A preformed pond was sitting in the middle surrounded by a few inches of mulch. There were pots of flowers and grasses on top of the mulch (always plant in odd numbers) surrounding the water feature. A solar pump sat in the middle, making the whole thing peaceful and beautiful.
It was dig free with no worry about runoff from your yard getting into the water. Warning here: If you have small children or grandchildren, above ground ponds and the fish inside will be a fascination to them. Please don’t leave them unattended.
Whether your taste is modern and sleek or rustic, you can be as creative and artistic as you want to be.
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information.