Creating a frog-friendly pond in your garden

frog friendly wildlife pond

Looking for free pest control services for your garden? Creating a frog-friendly pond will help you control slugs, snails and other garden nuisances.

Frogs may be one of the most underrated creatures in our gardens. Yet they provide an incredible pest control service for free. These shy animals munch their way through countless slugs, snails, beetles, flies and lavae, and all they ask in return, is a cool place to rest and a pond to lay their eggs.

Creating a wildlife friendly pond in your garden is a good way to encourage frogs onto your plot. The pond itself doesn’t have to be huge, but there are a few things to bear in mind.

  • Aim for a pond of at least 2m long by 2m wide and 60cm deep in the middle
  • No fish – unless your pond is lake-sized
  • At least part of your pond should be in the shade – but avoid deciduous trees unless you like fishing leaves out of cold water!
  • Include some shallow margins for tadpoles 
  • Create a ramp so that baby frogs and other wildlife can get in and out of the water easily
  • Add plenty of plants in and around the pond
  • Use rocks, logs and other natural features to create pond-side shelter for your frogs
  • Garden sustainably – no chemicals or slug pellets

construction a frog friendly pond

Your frog-friendly pond should have a series of different levels so that you can grow a variety of plants, and the frogs (and other wildlife) can easily climb out the water.

Building your frog-friendly pond

There are many ways to build a pond. The simplest is to use a waterproof container and either sink it into the ground or landscape around it to create a raised pond.  For a frog-friendly pond, remember that you are creating a habitat. Adult frogs will need to be able to get into the water to breed and the tiny baby frogs, which are no bigger than your fingernail, will need to get out of the pond at some stage. If you are using a container, place rocks and pebbles inside it to create shallow areas and ramps.

By far the most commonly used method for building a frog-friendly pond is to dig a hole, line it and fill it with water.  At AB Aquatics we always advise our customers to shape the inside of the pond so that there are “shelves” within it. These allow you to grow a variety of water plants and also create the shallow areas that tadpoles love to swim in.

Aim for a depth of at least 60cm in the middle of your water feature. Frogs tend to hibernate for the winter in the mud at the bottom of ponds. If the water is too shallow it could freeze all the way through in winter and your froggy friends may not survive.

Experts say that a frog-friendly pond needs to be at least 2 metres wide and 2 metres long. We’ve seen frogs enjoying much smaller spaces but to be honest – when it comes to building wildlife ponds, the bigger the better.

You’ll find everything you need to build a pond in our shop. Or, if you need help with the work, we have a landscaping team who can build it for you.

frog friendly planting
Generous planting not only looks great, it provides shelter for frogs and attracts the insects and molluscs that they feed on

Frog-friendly planting

Landscaping your pond and choosing plants is an exciting gardening job. To encourage frogs to live in your garden, create lots of lovely damp areas around the periphery of the pond and extend them as far into the garden as you dare. This will create safe corridors for frogs and toads to move around the garden. It will also attract and support the creatures that they eat.

Frog-friendly plants for the garden include bergenia (elephant’s ears), ornamental grasses, hostas, wildflower meadows, and even some veggie plants such as cabbages and courgettes.

You will also want to grow plants within the pond. These oxygenate the water and create shady spots, helping to keep the water cool in summer.

There are four broad types of pond plant – aim to grow at least one of each:

Submerged plants. Like to have their roots, and most of their foliage in deep water

Marginal plants. Roots are in the water but the foliage is in the air

Floating plants. Just as their name suggests, the entire plant floats on the surface of the water

Oxygenating plants. These are hard working plants that deliver essential oxygen to all of the life forms in the pond and stop the water becoming stagnant and smelly.

Learn more about pond plants in this article.

For more help and advice

If you want ideas for a frog-friendly pond, or if you need help selecting the right pond liner for your project,  our friendly customer service team are on hand. Click here for our contact details – we look forward to hearing from you.

You might also find these articles helpful

Building a pond on a budget. 

Pond and lake design.