You’ve finally got your waterfront property, but there’s just one problem: you now must figure out how to build a beach on a lake. The water is overrun with weeds and muck, and the beach is more of a dense forest than a sandy oasis. What can you do?
You’ve come to the right place. Armed with knowledge and the right tools, you can create the beach you’ve always wanted.
How to Build a Lakefront Beach
Before getting started, take some time to scope out your property. Look for land that gradually slopes down to the water. Ground that is too steep or too flat can lead to problems with accessibility and erosion later on.
There is no one-size-fits-all rule for how large your beach should be, either. If just one or two people use the space, it may not need to be that big. If you have a large family or plan on hosting beachfront gatherings, you’ll need to clear a little more room. The good news is, you can always expand the sandy portion of your beach later.
Clear Your Beach Area
You need to clear an area for your beach before laying down the sand. This process may entail removing trees, bushes, small plants, and any other debris that you wouldn’t want on a beach. Equipment required could range from a good pair of hedge clippers to an ax, depending on how forested the space in front of your shoreline is.
Reclaim the Lakefront
Most lakes are natural homes to a variety of plants. When these plants die, they break down and form a layer of muck. To reclaim your lake, the plants and muck need to go. Lake weed and muck removal may sound daunting, but with the right tools, it’s a very doable job.
The first step is to tackle the weeds. A good pair of lake weed cutters, such as the Weed Razer, is a must-have. The Weed Razer makes de-weeding your lake a breeze– throw the device into the water and allow the blades to sink down. Then, reel it back in. The Weed Razer will cut vegetation as you pull it back to shore. Repeat the process until you’ve cleared your desired area.
For weeds extending above the water line, such as cattails, you may want to consider killing the weeds with an aquatic herbicide, such as Shoreline Defense, before cutting. Follow up the weed cutting by removing the debris using tools like weed rakes and skimmers, such as the Weed Raker.
Now for the muck. There is nothing worse than stepping into a lake only to sink deep down into murky, mucky mud.
If the muck layer is several inches deep, start with a heavy-duty tool, such as the Muck Razer. The Muck Razer features hooked teeth on a rolling wheel. When the wheel is rotated over the bottom of a lake, the teeth help remove any remaining debris while also agitating the sediment layer.
Once the ground has been agitated, it paves the way for beneficial bacteria to penetrate the deep muck. Over time, the bacteria will break down muck and restore the lake bottom to a more solid surface. You can accelerate the process with Airmax MuckAway, which can remove up to two inches of muck per month. Repeat the process every four weeks until the muck is gone.
Lay Down Sand
To truly achieve that beach vibe at a lakefront, you may need to add sand. Before laying down sand, however, you’ll want to put down mesh netting or landscaping fabric. Placing a barrier over the existing soil will keep your sand looking pristine. It will also help keep pesky weeds from poking through, and may even minimize erosion depending on your location.
Once the ground is covered, you can lay the sand. When you spread the sand onto the beach, push some into the water to make a nice transition into the waterbody, which adds a natural look and feel.
The amount you need will vary based on the size of your beach and preferred sand depth. If you aren’t sure about sand depth, a sandbox is a good visualization tool. You can experiment with different depths to determine what would be best for your beach. Four to six inches may be plenty. If you’re looking to capture the feel of a beachside volleyball court, however, you’ll need a depth of 12 to 18 inches.
It’s also wise to keep in mind that sand can get expensive– and heavy– fast. A 12-inch deep beach may sound great, but for a 15ft by 10ft area, you could be looking at five cubic yards of sand. That’s around seven tons you’ll need to purchase, haul, and spread out.
Plan for Maintenance
Once you’ve put in the work to create your own beach, it’s important to maintain it. Make time each month to redistribute sand and pull any unwanted plants or weeds. It’s also recommended to go over the lake bottom with the Razer Rake. The Razer Rake can also be used as a professional-grade landscaping rake, excellent for dressing beach sand.
If you’re still in the process of restoring your lake bottom, use your Muck Razer each month before re-treating with MuckAway. If the lake’s muck layer is less than a couple of inches deep, you can use MuckAway tablets for monthly maintenance without the Muck Razer.
Enjoy Your Beach for Years to Come
Creating your own lakefront beach involves a bit of work, but it’s certainly worth it. If you need a little extra guidance on how to make a beach, the experts at The Pond Guy are available to help.
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