Do you have a garden pond and you're not quite sure what steps you'll need to get it ready for the winter? Water gardens and ponds are a true four-season hobby, with something needing to be done for each change in the weather. However, you don't need to worry what you should be doing now to get ready for the winter. There is a winter garden pond maintenance schedule that can have you ready for spring in no time.
For the garden itself
The main thing to remember to do prior to the winter months for the life of your water garden is to make sure all the main features are turned off and that water is removed. This keeps all of your water features, including all waterfalls, fountains and any other running water features in the garden, from cracking. The water will remain in your pond. The next few steps will help you maintain the pond itself.
Never allow the water garden to freeze over completely, always allow some air to get in. Putting floating water jugs in the pond so you can pull them out if it starts to freeze is a good way to allow for air holes in the pond. Aerators are also a good idea. If the pond does freeze over, do not break a hole in the ice itself; rather find a way to melt a hole in the ice. It is better for the entire environment than breaking a hole.
This is also the time to check all of the filters, making sure they are clean and free of debris. A clogged or dirty filter should be removed and either cleaned thoroughly or replaced. Clogged filters can mis-use energy and cause problems with the equipment.
All plants will need to have some type of maintenance done if you want to keep them around. Sink plants that are going to be staying in the pond further into the ground so they can survive, and bring tropical plants inside. Store these tropicals in the house in pots until the spring season. Make sure you are only saving the healthy plants and remove any dead or diseased patches on the plants quickly. Deadheading the plants may be needed, but typically, they will be fine without it.
Another item associated with plant matter included in water garden maintenance is to get a scoop and clear the bottom of the garden pond and water garden from the dead and decaying plant matter. A clean pond is a healthier pond. You may be able to do this with a standard pool scoop, depending on the size and depth of your pond. Always check to make sure you can get to the very deepest portion of the pond prior to settling on a cleaning tool. You must be able to lift out all the dead, decaying plant matter.
Maintenance for pond animals
Plants and equipment are not the only things that will need maintenance work done, your pond animals are going to need some tending to as well. These aquatic animals are going to need a water heater, so get one installed if you don't have one already, and if you have one, make sure it is in proper working order. The heater will also keep the pond from freezing, however, always do place some water jugs in the pond, as described above, as a fall-back just in case the heater doesn't work. You can stop feeding the fish that live in your water garden after the temperature falls under 50 degrees.
Make sure there is a good habitat deep under the water surface for the pond animals to live. While the heater will keep the water at the right temperature, you will have to go out and check on the water garden every so often to make sure that it is functioning properly and that you don't have a frozen pond. This is especially important after several days of temperatures below freezing. A quick check can also ensure that your equipment is still functioning properly.
Maintenance on garden ponds can be done by the homeowners or be delegated to local landscapers. Get in touch with your local Atlanta-area landscaper to ensure your garden pond maintenance for the winter is done quickly and easily. Any questions you may have can be answered with their consultation. Have a fabulous lawn and garden area that is perfect for spring just by taking this maintenance list and applying it to your routine.