Water ponds have became more popular in recent years and many people have added them to their landscapes. The soothing sound of water, the plants and fish all combine to add a touch of nature to your yard. While ponds require very little work in the summer if they’re set up right, preparing your pond for the winter months will take a little more work.
If you have any annual plants in your pond, you might as well pull them up and throw them away, annuals just won’t survive the cold weather. Water lilies on the other hand are quite expensive and you can easily keep them alive through the winter. And, it’s well worth the effort to not have to spend all that money replacing them in the spring.
Take all of the lilies out of the pond and cut down any foilage, cut the buds off as well, but hold on to them. You can try placing the buds in a dish of water and you just might get them to bloom! After you’ve gotten all of the stems cut off, put the lilies in a tub of water with the water just covering the crown of the plant. Place the tub in a cool area such as a basement and just remember to keep them moist until spring.
If you have any bog plants, they can be brought indoors and treated in the same way you would a houseplant. Keep them in a well lit area of your home and make sure to keep them moist. The extra care you take to winterize your pond plants will mostly depend on whether you’d rather just replace them with new ones or save the money and go the extra mile.
If your pond is deep enough, or if you’re winters aren’t severe and the water won’t freeze solid, you can leave the fish in the pond during the winter. One of my friends has a pond and he never removes his fish, I was really shocked to find out that they can survive the top of the water being frozen over! But, they will do just fine!
If the water is going to freeze solid, remove the fish and keep them in a large tub of water through the winter. If you have a lot of fish you may have to use several tubs so that they’re not all cramped together. Use water from the pond to avoid any shock from temperature changes, place the tubs in an area such as a basement and add a pump to provide oxygen.
After everything is removed from the pond, drain all of the water out so that you can clean it. All you need to do is to remove the hose from the pump and hang it over the side of the pond. Remove any plant debris, dirt and algae with a water hose and a brush if you need to scrub the pond.
You can either let the pond remain empty until spring or fill it back up with water. If you’re going to leave it empty, put the pump inside a bucket of water and store it away. To make sure that your pump works properly in the spring, plug it in every few weeks and let it run for a little while to circulate the water. This will help maintain the gaskets and keep them hydrated.
If you decide to fill the pond back up with water, you can either just leave it as it is and allow it to freeze, or place a piece of plywood on top of it to help protect it. But, whether you leave it empty or fill it back up with water, you’ll need to clean it again in the spring before adding the fish and plants back into it.