Maintaining backyard ponds as winter sets in
For customers with decorative ponds on their property, especially ones that harbor fish, it’s important to talk to them before the extreme cold sets in. If you live in an area where it stays fairly warm throughout the winter, there’s not much extra maintenance you’ll need to perform. For those who experience cold weather, snow and freezing ice, talk to your customers about whether or not they wish to keep their ponds up and running during the season.
For those who would rather take a break from their pond this winter, unplug the pump and pull it from the water. The pump should then be stored in a frost-free place and should be submerged in a bucket of water to keep the seals from drying.
For customers who do wish to keep their ponds operating, there are a few simple maintenance tips you can use to keep the waters clear, the wildlife happy and the surrounding plants healthy.
Start the sprucing process by pruning yellowing leaves off the plants surrounding the pond. If there are lilies around it, they should continue to thrive and stand strong until at least the first heavy frost.
When the weather gets cooler, hold back on fertilizing to let the plants know the season is officially coming to an end. Be sure to keep dead plants and plant material cut back, and remove the tropicals. If there are cattails, you can cut them above the water level or leave them up to thrive throughout the winter.
Keep an eye out for neighboring trees and their fallen leaves. As leaves continue to fall, the skimmer’s debris net will need to be cleaned every day to keep up with the overabundance of leaves.
If you spot some leaves making their way to the bottom of the pond, it’s best to remove them as quickly as possible, as having too much debris can cause the water to turn brown. If a few leaves happen to stay around, they can add some shelter for frogs and insects as they overwinter. If you do see the water turning colors due to debris, remove the debris and add activated carbon to the water to clear it.
If your customer’s pond has fish in it, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to ensure they are taken care of as winter sets in.
Once the temperature has reached about 50 degrees F, stop feeding the fish. If you continue to feed them, it could potentially create health problems for them since their digestive systems are just starting to slow down for the winter.