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7 key steps to preparing your backyard pond for winter

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May 13, 2011

A backyard pond is a gorgeous addition to your property. But it does require regular maintenance, and it needs special attention right before the winter winds begin to blow. These tips can help you keep your backyard pond beautiful throughout the years.

Putting away the pond for the winter

  1. Give the pond a good cleaning. Use an all-natural bacteria-based cleaner that eats away at the algae and sludge that accumulates around rocks and on the bottom. Do this several weeks before you are ready to pull the filters from the water.
  2. When the leaves begin to fall, string a net over your pond to avoid autumn debris from sinking into the water and creating even more sludge as it decomposes. This step is important to maintain the water quality.
  3. Trim back your plants before the frost hits. Pull out any plants that cannot survive cold temperatures. You can usually maintain these plants by placing them in pots of water in your home at room temperature. If you're not sure, check with your local nursery for instructions unique to your area.
  4. Remove your pumps from the water when the temperature drops. If the pumps are in an area that is too deep to freeze, it is okay to leave them there. However, remember that if there is any chance of the entire pond freezing, the expanding water could destroy your filters, pumps, and other equipment.
  5. If you have fish in your pond, they might be able to stay. It depends on the depth of your water. Water that is 24 inches or deeper should provide a safe habitat for your fish during the winter. Feed them a protein rich food to allow them to build up resources to get through the winter. When ice does start to form, keep an area of the pond free of it by using a deicer or heater.
  6. Don't forget to remove ornamental statues, bird baths, and other decorative items from the pond. If you overlook this, you could find that those items have been damaged by the expansion of ice around them.
  7. Watch the weather and don't get caught off guard. It might take several days to do what you need to do to prepare your backyard fountain or pond for cold weather, so at the first sign that frost might layer the ground, it is time to start taking precautions.

Take special care to make sure your pond survives the winter and it should thrive in the spring.

About the Author:

Shannon Dauphin is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. Her current home was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her necessary hobbies.

 

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