Preparing your front and back yard for winter isn’t always an easy task. Depending on what you have growing or what elements your yard includes, your winter preps might require a whole afternoon or more. You need to trim things back, cover furniture, stow things in the garage, and generally get things ready for 3 or 4 months of cold, wet weather. If you have a water feature, your winter readiness could be a little more complicated. Here are a few tips to ensure your fountain or pond will be ready to use when Jack Frost retires in the spring.
1. Remove Debris
Use a rake or net with a long handle to remove leaves and other debris from your water feature. If you don’t, they’ll be decayed and much harder to remove after the snow melts.
2. Trim Plants
Just like you trim your bushes and flowers in the fall, you’ll need to trim back any aquatic plants that grow in your water feature. Just be sure to clean out any cuttings after you’re done.
3. Remove Equipment
If your fountain, filter, or pump won’t be running in the winter, you’re better off to remove your equipment for the season. Leaving it frozen in ice, with the potential for repeated thaws and re-freezing just isn’t good for it. This is also a great time to clean filters and other equipment so it’s ready to go in the spring. If you have fish, you can add an aerator or bubbling circulator. If you’re in an area with extreme cold, you can add a floating heater.
4. Add Bacteria
Maintaining the balance of bacteria will help keep your pond clear and clean during cold weather. Add some treatments especially for wintertime.
5. Stop Feeding Fish
When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, you can stop feeding your fish. Fish will slow down almost into a dormant mode. They might seem to be “begging” for food on warmer days, but don’t give in. If they do need food, there is plenty of algae and other things growing in the pond to sustain them. They won’t be able to digest your regular food properly during the slower-metabolism phase of winter.