Pond on the Slope – How to Succeed in the Project

Pond on the slope with waterfall

A pond on a slope can look very charming and natural when integrated into the landscape. However, such a pond is associated with various difficulties and poses a more significant challenge to pond lovers. A prefabricated pond is not suitable for a slope. To achieve a natural result, you should not do without a pond liner. You should also pay attention to the hours of sunlight due to the location so that the plants and fish get enough sunlight.

Pay Attention to Slope and Position.

How difficult it will be to build a garden pond on a slope depends on the existing gradient. If the hill is only slight, you can create a small retaining wall on the valley side as a pond edge. You can conceal this wall with various plants. If the slope is steeper, it will be more challenging to create a garden pond. You can sink your pond so far into the ground on a steeper incline that the water level is flush with the terrain’s lowest point. One difficulty is the slope as a high wall. You need to secure the liner well and protect it from the sun’s UV rays. For fixing and UV protection, you can hang stone sheets or bank mats on the foil. UV radiation allows the plasticizers in the film to escape more quickly. Since the film soon becomes hard and brittle, its service life is limited.

Compensating the Slope With a Dam

You can compensate for the slope with a dam, which you fill-up when the water level is at a higher terrain level. You will need to use a level to determine the elevation difference accurately. You do not always require additional soil to create such a dam. In most cases, the sods that accumulate during the excavation of your pond are sufficient. You will need to pile these sods tightly on top of each other. For the dam to hold, you will need to tamp the sods down. You will need a vibratory plate to achieve the necessary firmness. To protect against erosion and heavy rain, you need to plaster the sod with clay at the end.

What You Should do With Loose Sand

It becomes problematic if the base of the slope consists of loose sand. It would help if you used impregnated wooden planks or more enormous boulders to support the hill above the pond. Designing the edge of the pond involves some difficulties. Also, do not allow the soil to wash into the pond during heavy downpours. One way to protect it is to plant well-rooted ground covers on the slope.

What You Should Consider With the Slope Mats

Proper embankment mats are needed to secure the liner and allow for planting. The edge of the pond is covered with embankment mats. The material of the embankment mats can be coconut fiber or other natural fibers. Betonite is also suitable, which is durable. The bottom side of the embankment mat should be smooth and lie without gaps on the pond liner. It would help if you roughened the top side to ensure better marsh and pond plant growth from the wetland and bank edge zone. With the embankment mat, you create more stability for your pond and protect the pond liner from harmful UV rays.

Creating Different Depth Zones

Just as with a garden pond on level ground, different depth zones are essential for a garden pond on a slope. They provide diversity in the pond as you introduce plants depending on the depth zones, and different fish species prefer different depth zones. The depth zones also create temperature differences. For depth zones, you should look for

  • Shore zone with 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) depth
  • shallow water zone with 8 to 20 inches (20 to 50 centimeters) depth
  • Deepwater zone with at least 20 inches (50 centimeters) depth
    pay attention.

How broad these zones are and where you place them depends on the slope’s size, location, and strength. You can also read our advice text on the subject: Creating a garden pond: How to do it?

What You Should Pay Attention to the Depth Zones

Creating the depth zones will be difficult if the garden pond is completely lowered into the ground. Creating the depth zones is more comfortable if there is a dam on the downhill side. On the slope side, you should create a very shallow sump and wetland zone. It provides additional protection from soil washout. The sump belt intercepts the soil. Towards the valley, establish an external area. The deep zone follows this. In the direction of the dam or retaining wall, you should construct another shallow water zone. It is essential so that the barrier is not exposed to excessive water pressure.

Help With a Wall

A wall that you build in the direction of the valley simplifies the creation of the water zones. It makes the pond look natural when concealed with plants. The wall evens out the level. In the edge area, the liner can be well hidden.
If the slope is large, you should pour a foundation and build a wall on it. Quarry stones are well suited for the wall, as they provide a beautiful appearance. A wall ensures sufficient support for the water pressure behind it. With the wall, you can create more water volume in your pond. You already get a level created by a piece of the slope that is behind the wall. You can make another level from the opposite wall of the hill. On these levels, you will apply substrate to protect the liner and for planting. The pond will look even more natural.

Pond Drain and Pond Overflow

A pond on a slope is more comfortable to drain and clean. If possible, you should place the pond drain and pond overflow so that it can seep into the garden when the water is drained. In any case, you should prevent the water from spilling onto your neighbor’s property, a public path, or the street.

What You Should Consider When Planting

If you have built your garden pond on a slope, you should use planting baskets for planting. They will make your work easier. Using large pebbles will ensure a better hold of the planting baskets. You can always take the planting baskets out of the water for planting and dividing the plants. This is easier than the work of planting on a slope. When choosing aquatic plants, you should pay attention to whether they need more of a sunny or shady location. You should pay attention to which side the pond is located, for example, on the south side. If the sunlight is too intense around noon, you can use a solar sail. This way, you will avoid damage to the plants. Too harsh sunlight is also not good for your fish.

Trees on a Slope

Trees on the slope provide shade and can emphasize the natural look of the pond. However, leaves also fall into the pond, causing algae to form. You can protect your pond from this with a leaf net that you stretch over the pond. You can also use a landing net to remove the leaves that have fallen into the pond regularly.


Creating a pond on a slope can be difficult. You can make more water volume with a wall. You can also raise a dam if there is a steep slope. You should protect the pond liner well from UV radiation so that it does not become brittle. For planting depends on good embankment mats.

Florian Egert

I am Florian Egert, the owner of pondlovers.com. I live with my wife and two children in Germany in a small village in the countryside.

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