Frogs are beneficial because their main diet consists of pesky bugs that raid our gardens and spread diseases such as West Nile Virus, Malaria, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. And with many predators on land and in the water, they become an important part of both grassland biome and freshwater biome food chains.
Reap the benefit of a mosquito-free home, and protect these helpful amphibians by creating a frog pond in your own backyard.
Size and Location of Your Frog Pond
Let the rain feed your pond’s water supply by choosing a low-lying area of your yard. Make sure your chosen location is far away from the road and out of the way of heavy foot traffic that could endanger the pond’s inhabitants.
Your frog pond should be at least 72 square feet in area, with the edges offering plenty of shallow banks for frogs to enjoy. It is in this shallow water that frogs hunt for insects and lay their eggs, but the deeper water is also necessary as it allows them to escape their land-dwelling predators. In the winter months, as the frozen water within the pond expands, it could tear the liner of your pond; the wide shallow banks will prevent this worry by allowing plenty of room for the ice expansion.
Digging, Lining, and Filling with Water
Mark the dimensions of your pond, remove the grass, and then dig a hole to the desired depth. Use a level on the bed of the pond to ensure that it’s flat, and then spread a layer of sand between 3″ and 4″ deep at the bottom of the hole. The sand acts as a cushion for the liner, preventing any rips or tears from rocks you may have missed while digging out the pond.
Purchase a PVC liner a few feet larger than the dimensions of your frog pond. Hold the liner taut over the prepared hole and gently drop it into position.
You can now begin filling up the pond with your garden hose, stopping after a few inches have been filled to smooth out any creases or folds in the liner. The liner is easier to adjust after partial filling because the weight of the water holds the smoothed out creases in place.
At this point, you should spread an 8″ layer of aquatic soil on the bed of your pond. You can find aquatic soil at your local hardware store or garden supply store. Allow the soil to settle for 3-4 hours before replacing the garden hose and filling up the pond the rest of the way with water.
To provide plenty of shelter for your frog pond, incorporate floating plants, semi-submersible plants, and full-submersion plants. The best place to locate these aquatic plants is in the wilderness surrounding your home. Native plant species will adapt easily to their new location and quickly colonize your frog pond.
When starting the full-submersion plants, place them in soil-filled pots on the floor of the pond. Add a layer of gravel on top of the soil to prevent the plants from floating to the surface.
Look for plants with thin, spindly stems; frogs attach their eggs to these small stems with a mucous-like, stringy substance.
Finally, don’t forget to add some shrubs, bushes, and long grasses around the pond to provide the frogs with plenty of out-of-the-water hiding spots, as well.
Now that you’ve taken care of all your frogs’ needs, you can focus on making your pond as beautiful to you as it is to the frogs. A trickling fountain is the perfect piece of outdoor water decor to tie your pond scene together and create a peaceful ambiance in your frog-friendly wildlife retreat.
The absence of frogs would endanger important food chains, and create an influx in disease-spreading insect populations. Help preserve our amphibious friends by creating a safe haven for them in your own backyard.