It didn’t take terribly long to tear out the old pond liner. Although it’s brittle and full of slits, I consider it very valuable still for suppressing weeds and grass in other places. It’s heavy stuff, still, en masse, and moving the sediment and displacing the small pocket of remaining water and swamp was dirty and tiring.Could it be that easy? Of course not. Naturally, there’s an older liner beneath the black, 5ml poly, only peeking out in places, and mostly entirely buried under no less than 6” of thick clay.
That’s the bad news. There’s much more clay than I thought. Also sand, and not too well mixed together. It seems once water flowed through this pond, and left considerable sediment over the poly layer, which had original sandy soil beneath it. Now there are distinct layers, and I’ve been hours slowly tugging and working out the plastic from between the two, so that it can be tilled. Plus side- 1000s of worms, and I’m working the soil together as I go. Down side- clay, sand, countless baseball sized rocks. It’s going to need an awful lot of organic matter, aka horse turds, tilled in, and won’t be great soil for at least a year of mad compost and straw and maybe other amendments. The very biggest plus, though, that sold me on the pond and keeps me happy: no weeds. No roots, no grass, no battle with THAT. Sweet action.