Yesterday I shared a few ideas for protecting and over wintering plants through the colder seasons, today I’ll examine a few steps that you can take to winterize your pond, garden fountain, or water feature to preserve them through the harshest weather conditions.
Water Features in the Home Garden
Backyard ponds and water features are becoming more and more popular for the ornamental effects that they add to the home landscape and garden setting. There are kits available that make creating your own backyard pond or water feature a quick and easy task.
A few simple steps taken each fall will help to preserve the quality of your backyard garden pond, safeguard aquatic plant and animal life, and extend the use and lifespan of those attractive water features.
Winterizing the Backyard Pond
A properly designed garden pond shouldn’t be difficult to maintain even through the winter months. The first step is to cut back the foliage of your hardy water plants and submerge them, container and all, to the bottom of the pond where they will remain dormant until spring arrives. If you grow tropical aquatic plants, these will need to spend the season indoors if you hope to see them survive through winter.
If your pond is at least a few feet deep you can allow your fish to hibernate outside in the pond over the winter, but take precautions to ensure that the pond doesn’t completely freeze over. Use a pond heater or a device that will circulate the water and keep a small opening of the pond’s surface free of ice and allow any toxic gases to escape from the water.
A very important step, especially if there are trees in the area, is to cover the pond with small mesh netting. The netting will prevent leaves and other debris from making their way into the water where they would decompose and contaminate the water’s quality and clarity. Covering the pond’s surface will make spring clean up much easier and also help to keep the water crystal clear.
Winter Care of Fountains and Water Features
For the portable water features and small garden fountains the simplest thing to do is to drain them, remove the entire feature, and carry it inside for the duration of the winter.
Larger water features should be drained and their pumps removed and stored indoors in a container of water. The base and structure of the water feature can then be wrapped in an old blanket and covered with a water proof tarp or plastic to protect it from the elements.
Spend a little time winterizing your pond or garden water features in the fall and you’ll be rewarded with a healthier pond year round, as well as less maintenance and cleaning when spring arrives and you are ready to begin enjoying the benefits of those garden fountains, backyard ponds, and water features.
Other Related Vegetable Gardening Posts: