Step By Step How To Build A Wildlife Pond For Your Garden Or Allotment
How to Prepare a Garden Pond for Winter
Garden ponds enhance the beauty of any landscape by adding a water element containing different varieties of plants, flowers, and sometimes fish. In order to maintain the beauty and health of your garden pond in areas with very cold winters, certain steps need to be taken to winterize your garden pond. This article explains how to prepare a garden pond for winter.
Clean out the pond.Remove any dead plants, flowers, leaves, algae, and any other debris.
- Rotting foliage will produce gases in the water underneath the ice that can be fatal to fish. When removing dead vegetation, be careful not to inadvertently remove floating pond plants that will grow again next spring.
Move or remove plants.
- Move hardy plants to deeper water, at least 18 inches (45.72 cm), but preferably deeper, to keep them from freezing. If the pond freezes entirely, remove these plants and store them indoors for the winter.
- Move tropical lilies out of the pond to a place where they won't freeze, like a basement or heated garage. If the lilies are in pots without drainage holes, keep them well-watered. If they are in pots with drainage holes, repot them in pots without draining holes. Check water levels at least once each week, adding water as needed, to make sure that the lilies don't dry out.
- Remove other tender plants from the pond, wrapping each plant loosely with damp newspaper. Place them in large trash bags and store them with the lilies. Check the newspaper every week or two to be sure it is still moist, but not soaking wet.
Clean the pond filter.
- Moving the filter close to the surface of the pond so that the air bubbles breaking the surface of the water may prevent the pond from freezing completely. Alternatively, remove and store the pond filter indoors for the winter.
Vacuum the pond.
- Once the plants that need to be moved have been, vacuum the pond to clear out dead plants and other debris in order to prevent toxic gases from being produced that can be lethal to fish.
Feed fish less.If your pond contains fish, reduce the amount of food you feed the fish as the temperature gets colder.
- Stop feeding the fish completely when the temperature drops below 50F (10C) to keep the fish from creating more waste products that the remaining plants can process. Since the fish will be in semi-hibernation, there should be enough nutrients in the pond for them to survive the winter.
Cover the pond.
- Keep the pond clean from falling leaves and branches by covering it with a screen for the winter. This will also make pond preparation in the spring much easier. Shade cloth, netting, and landscape fabric work well. Be sure to secure the screen around all edges of the pond.
QuestionShould I cover my raised garden pond over winter (with bubble wrap or similar) to protect the fish and prevent the pond from freezing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can add a heater to the pond to keep it warm over winter.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I put in the pond to prevent it freezing?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerRun a pump close to the surface of the water so the bubbles reach the surface.Thanks!
QuestionCan I just leave it empty if I have no fish or plants?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI would suggest emptying it so it doesn't freeze over, but you can leave it full.Thanks!
- Requirements to keep fish safe and healthy during the winter vary based on the type of fish. Be sure to find out what special requirements your fish may have, such as depth of the water or special feeding instructions during winter months.
- Leave 2 or 3 soft balls floating in your pond during the winter to keep the water from freezing. If you can reach them, move the balls around periodically to help circulate the water so it won't freeze.
Video: Preparing your pond for fish.
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