Forget about spring cleaning, fall cleaning is in! It's time to winterize your landscape, including your water features. Keep reading for ways to winterize your pond this fall.
First Thing's First: Remove Debris
Just like you rake up yard waste in the fall, you'll need to tidy up your pond. You should be regularly sifting out leaves and debris, but it's extra important when winterizing your pond in fall. The best tool to accomplish this is a large net.
Remove and Clean the Pond Pump
There's some debate about whether or not you should remove your pond pump for winter. You will want to turn off the pump well before the water freezes. When learning how to winterize the pump, the key thing to know is that most types must stay wet. If the pond pump freezes or dries out, it will crack and potentially be destroyed. If you live in an area where the pond won't completely freeze, you can store the pump at the bottom of the pond. To learn more about winterizing your pond pump in Allentown, you can always contact the experts!
Pruning Pond Plants
Pond plants are susceptible to decomposition, so pruning off any dead or dying parts of the plant will help prevent the buildup of those toxic gases we want to avoid!
Buddy Up With Bacteria
Cold-water bacteria can be a great friend to your pond and the creatures that live in it. This helpful bacteria breaks down debris and fish waste, making the water clean and clear. This is very important during winter because as ice builds up on your pond, toxic gases can accumulate if too much debris is left behind.
Protect Your Fishy Friends
Caring for your fish over winter will depend on what types of fish you have and what type of pond. Shallow ponds freeze the fastest, so get those fish out of there ASAP! Deeper ponds that won't freeze may bring an opportunity for your fish to safely enter the state of torpor (fish hibernation.) If you're bringing fish indoors, small fish may do well in a tank, while larger ones will need to live in something like a rigid plastic liner.. Be careful, though; you may need a cover to keep them from jumping out!
Fish are a lot more work than houseplants: be prepared to have equipment for your pond fish like a bubbler, a filtration system, and plenty of light and food. When transferring your fish, be sure not to shock them with completely fresh water. You can drain your pond slightly, use buckets and containers to catch the fish with some of their water. This will allow for a smooth transition into their clean water after a few hours.
To Drain or Not to Drain Your Pond
If you're asking yourself, "Do I need to drain my pond for winter," the answer is… usually yes. Winter can be unpredictable, so even if you think your pond may be safe from freezing completely, you should err on the side of caution and drain it anyway. If you're using a liner made of plastic or rubber, you'll want to drain the pond entirely in order to protect it from the damaging expansion and contraction of ice. Completely draining your pond makes winterizing easy—and allows for a thorough inspection of the liner.
These tips for how to winterize your pond in Allentown should help protect your water feature and the creatures that live in it. For more information on how to prepare your garden for winter, come visit us!