When planning the construction of a garden pond, you may wonder when the best time for it is. Many pond enthusiasts use the winter, when there is no garden work to be done, for planning the pond and tackle the actual construction in spring. Autumn is also a good time for building a garden pond. Even in winter, as long as there is no frost, pond construction can take place. Each season has its pros and cons for pond construction.
Always Consider the Weather Conditions
There’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation for when to build a garden pond. In every season, you need to account for unpredictable weather conditions that can disrupt your pond construction plans. Sunshine, rain, and even frost all play a role when creating a garden pond.
Sunshine – Helpful but Not Mandatory
While sunshine is an advantage during pond construction, it’s not an absolute necessity. Summer provides many hours of sunshine, but the weather records show that the spring months of March, April, and May, as well as the autumn months of September and October, can hold their own when it comes to the number of sunny hours. However, sunshine can be helpful when laying the liner as it warms it, making it easier to lay without wrinkles. On a cooler day when laying the liner, you can cover it and use a heater to warm specific spots.
Problems Caused by Rain
Rain can be problematic during the construction of a garden pond, especially when you’re laying the liner. The summer months often see more rain due to frequent thunderstorms, compared to spring and autumn. The average rainfall in spring and autumn is generally similar. If your pond excavation is unprotected and the liner is not in place, heavy summer rains can cause significant damage. Such damage is often challenging to rectify. You can protect the pond excavation with a thin safety liner, which can remain under the pond liner. Rain is also inconvenient when you need to glue or seam the liner.
How Does Climate Change Affect Pond Construction?
The impact of climate change varies regionally in Germany. There’s a trend toward milder winter months. In the past, leaves typically started falling around October 20, but now, this happens around November 10. This means that the autumn months can be suitable for pond construction. Building a pond during the summer months, when temperatures can reach around 40 degrees Celsius, might make the work less enjoyable as you might prefer to go swimming instead.
Using the Spring Months for Pond Construction
If you plan to build your pond in the spring, you can complete the planning and preparations, such as purchasing the liner and accessories, during the winter. This allows you to start working on your pond early, with construction beginning in March. However, planting cannot be done if the pond is completed in March. Some pond plants, as well as plants for the shoreline and nearby areas, are late starters. Nighttime frosts can dampen your enthusiasm and potentially kill your plants. Pond plants typically begin growing no earlier than early April. So, you can take your time with pond construction. The selection of pond plants in early spring is limited. There’s nothing wrong with building your pond early in the spring, but planting it later.
If you plan to build your pond in the spring, you can certainly wait until April or May. Various pond plants are only available from mid-May, after the “Ice Saints” have passed. You can start planting your pond in late April or early May when the water temperature reaches about 10 degrees Celsius. Depending on the region and weather conditions, a thin layer of ice may still form on the pond even into May. Patience in planting pays off. The month of May is a favorable time, especially for building larger ponds or swimming ponds. Temperatures are rising, and the water warms up more quickly. Planting can proceed without hindrance. However, keep in mind that other pond enthusiasts might also choose May for their pond construction, which could lead to material delivery issues. So, plan ahead and order your materials in advance.
Building a Garden Pond in the Summer – Watch Out for Summer Storms
If you take your time and build your pond in the summer, be prepared for possible summer storms, which can be very rainy. To protect your construction site from erosion, use a safety liner. People who wish to create a large swimming pond might use July or August and use their vacation days since construction can take several days or even weeks. While the heat can be helpful when laying the liner, it can also make work more challenging.
When building a larger pond or swimming pond and hiring a company for excavation work, they can typically dig the hole in one to two days. However, if you opt for concrete lining, it may take one to two weeks since a plastering machine is necessary. The pond can then be filled with water. During longer hot periods, the water warms up quickly and may already be suitable for swimming. Once it cools down again, you can complete your work and start landscaping your pond.
Pond plants are available in garden centers until the end of August. If you begin your pond construction early, perhaps in early June, you can introduce the plants and benefit from vigorous vegetative growth. The plants spread more slowly the longer you wait with pond construction and planting.
Building a Pond in the Autumn Months – Always a Good Option
Many people who haven’t yet managed to build their garden pond become eager in the autumn and enthusiastically start working on it. Especially in areas where groundwater is expected, autumn is suitable for pond construction due to low groundwater levels. Groundwater reduction is usually unnecessary in the autumn. You can take your time with the start of pond construction until early November. To easily lay the liner without wrinkles, use a heater. If you can’t continue your work quickly, protect the pond excavation with a cover.
Building a Pond in the Winter – Use Technical Aids
Winters in Germany have become milder in recent years, so it’s not impossible to build a pond during the winter months as long as there is no frost. To ensure your work isn’t affected by shorter days, you can use a liner and a warm air blower to create a tensioned air hall. The temperature for laying the liner should be above 10 degrees Celsius. A mini tensioned air hall also helps when the liner is already in place, preventing defects to the recently glued or welded liner.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to when is the right time to build a garden pond. It’s even possible to construct a pond during the winter months as long as there is no frost. However, using a liner and a mini tensioned air hall created with a warm air blower is recommended. In the summer, heatwaves and frequent, heavy rain, along with high temperatures, can hinder your work. Autumn is a suitable time for pond construction, especially in September or October, as temperatures are higher than in March or April, and the groundwater level is lower. You can take your time with planting until the following spring.