Rubbermaid Tub Ponds are small and fall apart… For years I have been coaching my pond friends that if you cannot afford a pond or pre-fab pond liner to use a Rubbermaid tub. Now it’s time to get past that. While they might be a novelty at first, cheap plastic containers do not have enough room for pond plants to spread out and grow. They get sun bleached; they become cracked and fall apart, and they just look bad.
The Kiddy Pool Pond Option... A step up from a Rubbermaid tub pond is a child’s wading pool or kiddy pool. This is a great project for kids. If you are handy with a shovel you can even dig a hole in your yard and use a kiddy pool as a pond liner. Kiddy pools have far more room for water lilies to spread out, but they are shallow and their round shape is not space efficient if it is used as a patio pond.
So what is the next affordable option?
The Sandbox Pond Frame
I am a Freecycle.org freak and have been getting lots of free stuff from my new friends and neighbors that I have met online right here in my own community. Recently someone gave away a wood sandbox. It actually looks like a twin size bed frame or waterbed frame (4'x6' and 8" deep, 120 gallons). It was perfect! I am not handy with a shovel and most of my ponds are above ground on my patio. After calling Cecelia (a new Freecycle friend and neighbor) to help pick it up with her truck, I had a new instant pond! All it took was a roll of 4mil thick black plastic from Lowe’s and water. I call it my no-holes pond, because. This has inspired me to make more. I have a pile of wood planks (that I also picked up from Freecycle.org) and will build new box frames using my leftover black plastic and with “L” braces also from Lowe’s.
Now I have plenty of room for my water lilies!
My assistant eating pie...
But it’s October! Why build now?
Why not??? In my area of the country, winter doesn’t really set in until February. No matter where you live, ponds can be enjoyed year-round. My next project will be to build a new greenhouse design and a homemade oil drum heater. See pics below.