When you think of a backyard pond, you might imagine stagnant water and green goop floating on the surface. We’ve all seen backyard ponds full of algae and mosquitoes. Those ponds obviously aren’t well maintained, but even in those cases, they do prove useful. Ponds are a prepper’s dream come true and they don’t have to be a mosquito trap if you give them the proper time and attention. If you aren’t blessed with a natural pond on your property, you can dig one or use everyday objects to create man made pools that serve a variety of purposes.
Ponds are amazing ecosystems – both above and below the water surface. They are home to a variety of plants and animals, and can bring a whole new world to your backyard. They can be large ponds, or small ones – each one is valuable. You can use a kiddie pool down in a hole to grow water plants, or have a large hole dug in the ground and use a liner to create one for fish or water storage. There are many benefits that come from having your own pond (or multiple ponds) in the backyard. If you take care of them, they can be great a blessing to your family and to others. Here are 5 reasons to consider having your own backyard pond.
Obviously, this is a big benefit of an on-property pond! If you are without power or running water for a time, having your own backyard pond will be extremely helpful. You will have thousands of gallons of water at your disposal to use as you need it. Even if the water isn’t the cleanest initially, you can use water treatment tablets or boil the water to make it safe for consumption. You can still use the pond water for animals like cattle or horses, and it can serve as a makeshift bathtub or washing machine if the need arises. Pond water is great for watering crops too, whether by the bucket or natural drainage into your garden area. You can place ponds at different locations, uphill or downhill depending on where you want the water to drain. Having a pond would also be a useful bartering item! Use of water from the pond could be traded for other goods or services.
Most people think that ponds will actually attract insects or other pests especially mosquitoes. However, you can rid your pond of mosquitoes with some basic treatment tablets from the hardware store. The truth is having a backyard pond can actually help keep pesky insects away! Damselflies and dragonflies love water – and they eat other insects, too! Animals like frogs, salamanders, and toads will breed in and near ponds, and in turn, they will also eat those annoying mosquitoes! You might even consider putting a little pond near (or in the middle of) your garden area to ward off pests. Just beware of singing frogs at all hours!
This is an aspect of ponds that a lot of people don’t consider, but one that should be researched and utilized more often. Did you know that there are several hearty crops you can grow in the water? With a traditional garden, you have to worry about your plants getting enough water, or what to do if there’s a drought. With a water garden, you don’t have that issue. Your plants would always be well watered! You can grow things like taro, water chestnuts, watercress, cattails or even duck potatoes. If you do have ponds on your property, or want to create one, consider a food producing water garden as a possibility. You might find a new variety of food that you just love! Of course, the obvious source of food from ponds is fish. Many people stock their ponds with fish – not just for the enjoyment of the sport itself, but for the food that the fish will provide. Catfish, tilapia, or even snails are all edible animals you can have in your ponds. The snails and vegetation that you grow can also be fed to your backyard chickens if you don’t want to eat them.
Awesome, Free Fertilizer
Do you think of a pond as a fertilizer source? Probably not, but you should! Plants from your pond may produce waste or leaf rot high in nutrients and minerals, perfect to add right to your garden or even to your compost bin. Plants like azolla and duckweed are some of the best. If you plant lots of these in your pond, you can skim them regularly and add the waste to your garden. If you add plants that are nitrogen fixers to your pond, your garden crops will definitely thank you!
Peaceful, Easy Feeling
Finally, one of the most wonderful benefits of having backyard ponds is the peaceful feeling you can have sitting by the water. Whether it’s a small water garden on your deck, or a large backyard pond with a dock and a hammock, there’s nothing like relaxing by the water with a cup of coffee early in the morning or watching the sun set over the water after a long day. Water brings on feelings of calm and relaxation, and it’s a built in benefit of a pond that you can reap day after day.
As you can see, there are many reasons you might want to consider a backyard pond if you don’t have one already. These five were just the tip of the iceberg. Having a water source on your property is so beneficial. Do you have a backyard pond? What are some other uses and benefits we haven’t discussed here?