Fall Maintenance Tips for Outdoor Ponds
Now that fall is officially here, it’s time to think about fall maintenance tips for your outdoor pond. Winter isn’t far off, and you’ll want to make sure your water, plants, and fish are all ready for a colder season.
First, as the leaves fall, they’ll inevitably fall into your pond. Using a net can help prevent some of this; you can also skim off leaves each day or so as they continue to fall. If you don’t remove leaves and debris from the pond before winter their decomposition will lead to lots of potentially toxic gases building up in the pond. This can significantly change the pond’s ecosystem.
Once you’ve gotten the leaves and debris taken care of, check on your plants. If you see dead leaves or flowers go ahead and remove those. Some plants are hardy enough to stay in the pond all winter, though you might want to make sure their roots are far down in the water, to keep them insulated. For other plants, like water lilies, you’ll want to remove them from the pond. Water lilies will do just fine in a tub or bucket in your greenhouse or solarium during the winter. They can then be added back to the pond in the spring.
Follow the directions on your fish food for feeding this time of year. Fish won’t need as much food in the fall and won’t need any in the winter. A few final fall maintenance tips for outdoor ponds are as follows:
If your pond is in danger of icing over you may want to consider a fish pond de-icer. These products float in your pond and activate a heating element once the temperatures of your pond reach below 40 degrees. This keeps your pond from icing over, which prevents build-up of gases in the pond during the winter.
Finally, you’ll have to decide what to do about your pump and filter. If you live in an area where the temps rarely get below freezing, you can most likely leave it running. However, you may want to find a way to lower the water circulation in your pond so that the colder upper levels of water don’t affect the warmer water at the bottom where your fish are hibernating. You can also turn off your pump and filter for the winter if you wish. Just make sure to clean and drain the pump and filter before storing for the winter.
If you have questions about fall maintenance for your ponds stop by and see us at 2851 1/2 North Avenue in Grand Junction!