I have a man made pond that I'd like to get rid of. It's approximate 8 ft in diameter and about 1 ft deep. What are the typical steps to fill the pond and get grass growing on it again?

Here's what I have in mind, but I have my doubts.

  1. Drain the water to somewhere (public drain?)
  2. Remove rubber tarp that's likely containing the water
  3. Fill the hole with the huge rocks from the edge and alternate rock source (link below)
  4. Drop clay/soil over the rocks to fill in the gaps
  5. Seed with grass and water

    • Pond overall:
      enter image description here

    • Alternate source for rocks: enter image description here

Should that do it?

3 Answers 3


That's a relatively small pond. If you had the patience, you could empty most of it onto your lawn with a 5 gallon bucket, then pull up the liner and let the rest drain into the soil.

Personally, I would not use the rocks to fill it. I have a lawn that's so full of rocks it's impossible to dig anywhere. I would fill the bottom 6-8" with whatever cheap fill you can get locally and then 4-6" of good topsoil. You should need slightly less than a full-size pickup load of fill, probably $15-20 at your local gravel pit if you load it yourself.

You could rake 1" of compost over the top to help the lawn seed get established.

Some issues that you may have with rocks:

  1. If you live in an area where it freezes in the winter, the rocks will heave and make the lawn uneven.
  2. Even without frost heaves, over time the soil will settle into cracks in the rocks and you'll have a lumpy area of lawn.
  3. Over time you may forget what was in that spot and rediscover that it's full of rocks when you want to plant something there.

Keep in mind that even if you fill as I've suggested, you may have some settling occur over time as the soil in that spot compacts. Overfilling/mounding up the area may help with this, but it's hard to know how much to overfill in advance -- you may end up with a permanent mound there if it doesn't settle as much as you expected.

If you do decide to use the rocks for bulk as you fill it, I'd suggest watering in whatever you use for soil so that you have fewer issues with settling.

  • And I should think that if you offered the rocks up on craigslist or freecycle, you'd find people willing to haul them away for you if you don't have a use for them.
    – michelle
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 13:13

You may be overthinking this.Try punching holes in the liner with something like a machete , knife, sharpened rebar, etc. The water should leak out in a couple days at most.That will also give the frogs, toads, turtles, whatever, time to leave. I have the opposite problem, a somewhat larger pond that has a leak I can't find , so I trickle a hose into it constantly. I would not put rock in it. I would make a rock garden to get rid of the existing rocks. Your dimensions will require 2 yards of fill , sand would likely be the easiest to get a contractor to dump. You will be able to grow grass easily. It would not be difficult to dump sand on you driveway and wheelbarrow it back. ( I just finished moving 20 yards around my front yard ).,


Avoid filling with rocks, if you are worried about drainage, some shale at the bottom might help. rocks work their way to the surface; smaller particles work their way underneath and push up the larger ones. You will not be able to compact the earth on top enough to keep them from eventually working their way upwards. If you add debris [tree limbs etc- these will decompose but will also 'shrink' as they do and you may wind up with a low spot. You will want to slightly heap or add dirt after it settles [which may take a few years of seasons.]

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.