Showing posts with label overwinter your plants and fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label overwinter your plants and fish. Show all posts

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Pond in Winter

We are coming up on winter. Many of you have cold days and freezing weather at night already.  The pond looks like a gray hole in the ground sitting in the landscape.  A few basic things will get your pond and fish through the winter safely.

•  Put your tropical aquatic plants in the garage.  You will probably lose them anyway, but there is a chance they will be OK.  Even if they die back, they will most likely come back in the spring.  

• If you have hardy water lilies, put the at the bottom of the pond and don't worry about them. They will be back in May, none the worse for the ice and snow.  Same with any hardy plant.  If the plant grows naturally where you are, it will grow just as well for you. Most aquatic plants are only pretty weeds anyway.

•  Remove your pump from the water. They don't like to be frozen. Put it in the garage with the filter. (Take this opportunity to clean it thoroughly.)  Check all the tubing and replace the old, hard and brittle stuff with new.  Hose clamps too.  The newer ones made in China don't last very long, so buy new if they are deteriorating. 

•  The need for a pond heater has been debated for decades.  Some folks use them to keep a hole in the ice.  Pond does need to have a hole in the ice if it freezes over and stays that way.  But there are other ways to do it. Throwing a gallon jug with some water in it, keeps a hole open. Remove it in the morning and put it back at night.  The pond heater works, but is expensive to run, so alternative methods can work just as well.  The pond heater will not keep your pond from freezing solid, just keep a hole open so gasses can be exchanged.  The fish go into torpor, but still need some oxygen and the carbon dioxide the breathe out needs to go somewhere.  

•  If you built your pond below the frost line where you live - you can find that out from your county extension agent - the fish will be fine. They just stay dormant at the bottom of the pond, but you must still keep a hole open. Tropical fish will not survive and must be brought in when the temps go below 55ยบ.

*  Do not run your pump to keep your pond from freezing.  It mixes up the water and brings the warmer water to the top. Leave the warmer water at the bottom so the fish will be happier.

*  Winter is a difficult time for the small ornamental garden pond, but performing these few duties yearly will bring your pond through the winter and it will come back just as beautiful next spring.

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