How to Make a Pond Level


Garden ponds are a popular feature for landscaping around the home. A garden pond can be a small feature tucked into an alcove in a foundation planting, or in the shadow of a deck, or it can be a large feature that dominates a yard or pond. When installing a garden pond from a pre-formed liner, it is important that the surfaces are level so that the liner fits the excavation snugly.

Step 1

Lay out your pond using a garden hose to establish the size and shape.

Step 2

Hammer stakes into the ground around the footprint of the pond using a rubber mallet.

Step 3

Attach string to the stakes and lay out a grid pattern by weaving the string between the mallets.

Step 4

Excavate the soil in your pond by scooping the dirt out with a shovel. Use the grid as a guide to mapping shelves along the walls of the pond.

Step 5

Place a sheet of plywood on the floor of the pond. Place a carpenter's level over the plywood to check that the floor of the pond is level.

Step 6

If the pond is not level, scrape soil from the floor of the pond and re-check the level. Continue to do this until you have flattened the base of your pond.

Step 7

Check the lip of the pond to see if it is level using a 2-by-4 inch board and the carpenter's level. Mound up excavated soil around the lip in any low spot.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Stakes
  • Mallet
  • String
  • Shovel
  • Sheet of plywood
  • 2-by-4-inch board
  • Carpenter's level


  • Ortho's All About Garden Pools and Fountains; Veronica Lorson Fowler and Jamie Beyer; 1999
  • Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening; Carroll Calkins; 1978
  • Cottage Website: How to Build a Cottage Garden Pond - Preparation

Who Can Help

  • Pondlady's Info Center Website: How to Build a Pond
Keywords: garden pond, excavating soil, carpenter's level

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.