Water brings a calming aspect to any landscape. Water also is a key aspect of life that provides for fish, birds and multiple other animal that will fill your landscape.
Water features can be built with water falls, flowering plants or pondless. Each brings their own unique intrigue and maintenance. We can build water falls that are small to very large, depending on the space you have.
Fall and Winter Maintenance
In the fall, water is almost always very clear because of the cooler temperatures and the full, lush plants. Enjoy the good water quality! Here are some things that can keep your water garden looking good.
- There may be an increasing numbers of yellow leaves this time of year, so prune them off all of your plants. Your lilies – tropical and hardy – should still be going strong, at least until the first heavy frost.
- When the water temperature is around 55 F, stop feeding your fish. Continuing to feed them could cause health problems or death for them, since their digestive systems are beginning to slow down for the winter.
- If you leave too much organic matter in your pond, the water may turn brown. If this happens, remove the excess debris and add activated carbon to clear the water.
- If you live up north, where the surface of the pond freezes, you’ll need to prepare for winter by deciding whether you want to keep your pond running or shut it down.
- To shut your pond down, first unplug your pump and pull it out of the water. The pump should be stored in a frost-free location, submerged in a bucket of water to keep the seals from drying.
- If you have fish, a small re-circulating pump that bubbles at the water surface is necessary to oxygenate the water. In all but extremely low temperatures, the bubbling of the pump will also keep a hole open in the ice to allow for a gas exchange, keeping your fish alive. It is not necessary to oxygenate the water or keep a hole open in the ice if you don’t have fish.
The most important thing is to have fun with your water feature all year long.
Does your water feature need a full clean-out this season or does it just need to be tidied up a little? There are a couple of things that you can look for to help you decide. First, if there is a layer of “crud” at the bottom of the pond and the water is dark in color, it would be a good idea to do a full clean-out.
On the other hand, if there is just a small amount of debris that you can stir up and capture with a net and the water looks clear, a little tidying up is all that’s in order. Plan on spending a half to a full day to complete a pond clean-out. A Pondless® Waterfall will take considerably less time.
The best time to perform a pond clean-out is the early spring, before your water garden completely awakens from its winter dormancy – ideally before the water temperature in the pond creeps above 55 F. If a clean-out is performed when the water is warmer, after bacteria colonies form, the balance of the ecosystem will again be thrown off and your pond will go through another “green phase” before the bacteria colonies re-establish themselves again.