Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Make a Garden Pond With a Rubbermaid Container

By Stevie Donald ; Updated July 21, 2017
Cute little pond
author photo

Garden ponds are wonderful, self-sustaining ecosystems in your garden. They attract birds and wildlife and are easy to care for. You can pay a pond company a lot of money to build a pond, or spend plenty of time and money doing it yourself. If you just want a little pond, it's very easy and cheap to make one out of a plastic container.

Pick a spot for your little pond. Remember than placing it under a tree means you will often be cleaning leaves out, especially in fall. Also if you plan on adding some plants, aquatic plants are no different to garden plants in their sun requirements. Having a completely shaded pond means you are limited to aquatic plants that only grow in the shade.

Choose a large container. If the area you plan on placing it is in full sun, you may want to choose a clear or light color because the water will get quite warm in a black container. Dig a hole big enough to bury it with a lip of about three inches above ground. Burying it flush with the ground means you may have soil and mud running into it, especially when it rains. Fill it with a little water to make sure it's level and use the dug-out soil to pack it in until it is level and supported on all sides. Top it up with water and let it sit for several days before adding plants.

The raised lip of your pond can be surrounded with brick pavers, flagstone or decorative rocks. The spaces between the rocks can be packed with soil and you can then add ground cover plants if you wish. Ornamental grasses also look very attractive adjacent to a small pond.

Any standing water will attract mosquitoes. You can of course add a small pump and waterfall arrangement to your little pond, which will deter mosquitoes and other insects. If you plan on leaving the pond still, mosquito egg casings are easy to spot and remove. They look like little black grains of rice floating on the water surface and can be flipped out with a small net or even your finger.

As long as you have plants in the pond, it will be quite self sustaining. Choosing perennial water plants suited for your growing zone makes it very easy to care for. Most plants need to be rooted in small plastic pots and weighted down with small stones or gravel to hold them in place. Submerge the pots in the water, being careful not to dislodge the stones as you lower it.


About the Author


Stevie Donald has been an online writer since 2004, producing articles for numerous websites and magazines. Her writing chops include three books on dog care and training, one of which won a prestigious national award in 2003. Donald has also been a painting contractor since 1979, painting interiors and exteriors.