Learn How to Prepare Your Water Feature for Winter
Water features are unique focal points that give homeowners a place to unwind, relax, and enjoy time outside. Whether it’s a fountain, birdbath, pond or waterfall, adding a water feature to your yard is guaranteed to improve your landscape design.
With that enjoyment and peace, however, comes some responsibility. Water features require more maintenance than other forms of landscaping, especially during the winter months. To keep your water feature looking its best throughout the winter season, follow our helpful winter maintenance guide. In today’s blog, we will discuss maintenance tips to winterize your pond.
Winterizing Your Garden Pond
Whether it was professionally installed or a DIY project, your pond is probably the gem of your landscape. To protect it, you’ll need to take steps to prepare it for the winter season.
First, begin by draining your water feature with an external pump. Next, use a sturdy net to remove leaves and other free-floating debris. Try to scoop out anything that might have sunk to the bottom of your pond. Leaving too much decaying organic matter in your pond may cause the water to turn brown. Clear and clean water will ensure the health of your pond.
Once you have drained and cleaned your pond, it’s time to plan for winter. If your pond is above ground or features a rigid plastic liner, it is recommended to leave the pond drained throughout the winter months. However, ponds that are set into the ground should be refilled with water to the usual water level.
If your pond includes a waterfall, fountain or recirculating pump, you should shut down these items by unplugging them and removing them from the water. Store the pump in a frost-free location and submerge it in a bucket of water.
Pond maintenance also includes proper plant care. Trim back the aquatic plants in and around the pond. Tropical plants will need to be repotted in buckets of water indoors to keep warm over the winter. Hardy plants, however, can be kept in the water feature if you keep it filled.
What Should I Do with Plants?
Decomposing plants can harm fish once the ice forms. You can help by snipping the yellowing leaves off all your plants, just like you would in the garden. When the temperature drops and your plants expire, remember to cut back the dead plant material.
Recognize that different plants need different care. For marginals, trim them to just above the water line. Cut back lilies to right above the plant’s base. Clear away tropical floaters — they can’t survive the winter.
What Should I Do with Fish?
Water features with fish require a little more attention to detail. First, know that many species of fish should not be fed once water temperatures fall below 50° Fahrenheit. Certain species of fish can survive the winter, even if the surface water freezes. Nevertheless, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so be aware of the specific requirements needed by your fish for winter preparation.
While food isn’t necessary for wintering fish, oxygen certainly is. It’s important to keep a bubbler or portable pump running near the top of the pond. Try not to disrupt the warmer water below where your fish will be huddled waiting for spring. Another good product to consider is a floating de-icer. Like the pump, it adds oxygen to the water and heats it just above freezing temperature, so your fish won’t be iced in.
Your Water Feature from Nixa Lawn Service
Looking to elevate the style of your backyard with a water feature? From standard ponds and streams to maintenance-free fountains and waterfalls, we can install a variety of water features for you. To improve your element, we can also add automatic fill features or professional filters that will help keep it running for years to come. For more information about water features and lawn services, contact Nixa Lawn Service today.