Showing posts with label fall pond care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fall pond care. Show all posts

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall Pond Care

Those pretty tropical pond photos were fun, but now that the seasons are changing, it's time to concentrate on some of the nuts and bolts of pondkeeping.  Here's an article I wrote about fall pond care.

Sadly, very soon we will be talking about winter pond care.

Visit my website at  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off your pond.

I talk about seasonal pond care in my book as well. You can buy it by clicking below.
A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Isaac is officially gone

It's getting to be fall in parts of the US.  Down here in New Orleans, it's still summer and filled with heat and more heat and will be for another two months.  But in the northern parts of the country, fall is starting to show up in the mornings and evenings.
So I am talking about fall pond care today:

This article is on my website at  Visit us with your pond questions or just to show off what you have done.

Don't forget my book, A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining your Pond, available here

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Fall Pond Care

Special fall pond care is necessary when our plants and fish begin going dormant in cooler weather. When temperatures start dropping and we know that Indian Summer is just around the corner, our pond requires that we slow down or stop many things we did daily or weekly in the hot summer.

Water lilies

Our water lilies pads are getting smaller and they are blooming less and less. Water lilies respond to temperatures and length of daylight. Stop feeding your lilies in the fall and allow them to go into dormancy. If you stimulate growth now, you could lose the lily when winter freezes hit your part of the country. Lower them to the bottom of the pond if they are not there already. They will over winter better there where the water is warmer. If they are hardy lilies, they will be fine in freezes. If they are tropical special care is needed to keep them through the winter.

Bog Plants

If your bog plants are tropical you can bring them in the house and hope they will survive. Many of them, like taro, callas and cyperus do not require being in water and will do well in soil or sand. Bring them in the house, keep them in medium light and they should do fine. If your plants are hardy, just cut them back to make sure none of the emergent vegetation freezes, dies and fouls the pond. The hardy bog plants will come back in the spring bigger and better.

Remove Japanese Iris and Lobelia cardinalis and plant it in the ground if it freezes where you live. Mulch it up good and they should survive nicely and be ready to put back in the pond in the spring. Remove canna rhizomes from their pots. Store them in a pot in peat in a basement. Keep the peat damp.

Submerged Plants

If your pond is below the freeze line in your part of the country, your submerged plants should do just fine. If not and your pond freezes solid, bring them in the house right before the freeze and keep them in an aquarium with aquarium lighting.

Fish Feeding

If you feed your fish, when the temperatures start to drop below 60 degrees F, ease up on the feeding. Feed no more than two or three times weekly. Fish are cold blooded animals whose body temperatures are the same as ambient temperatures, therefore their metabolisms are slowing down as temperatures drop. When metabolisms slow, digestion slows as well. If you feed the fish too much, they cannot digest it and may die. When the temperatures drop to 50 degrees F, stop feeding completely.


Your floating plants are getting smaller and smaller, so cruising herons and egrets can see your fish more easily. To protect your fish make places for them to hide. You can buy "castles" commercially or you can turn some clay ponds on their sides. Another good hiding place is a large flat rock placed on top of a couple of chunky rocks makes a great spot for fish to get away from hungry birds.

Leaf netting will keep the predators away as well as keep debris out of the pond.


It's time to get all the falling leaves, debris, sticks, dead and decomposing organic material and fish poop off the bottom, in the waterfall cracks and sides. You can do a total cleanout, use a pond vac or a siphon if you can. No matter how you do it, the pond has to be clean and it sure is easier to do it now than the night before a hard freeze.

If you have a skimmer, it will not remove the leaves. It is made to remove the occasional leaf, not a tree full. You can cover your pond with leaf netting. You can buy it at most nurseries or make it from nylon net available in most big box stores.

I have known some folks to pound stakes around their ponds and cover the entire pond with visqueen, making a pond greenhouse. This will add at least 10 degrees to the temperature inside your greenhouse. Putting lights under there will add even more heat and keep leaves and other debris out of the water. Just make sure air can get in and out.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Preparing for Winter

Fall is upon us. And we have to do some winter prep with our ponds. When the temps drop below 55 degrees F, it's time to move water lilles from the pond.

If you have a greenhouse, move your waterlily inside. Put it in a tub or small pond. Don't disturb the roots, Let the plant keep growing until it becomes dormant and leave it in the greenhouse until new leaves come up again the spring.

Once the plant is no longer dormant, you can divide and repot in fresh soil for the growing season.

If the temperatures dip below 55 in your greenhouse, this method wil not work.

Preparing your pond for winter