Autumn maintenance is especially important to undertake because it prepares your pond for the Winter. If you need any further advice, please come and see us, and our friendly team will be happy to help.
Cut back any dead foliage from deep water plants such as lilies, emergent plants such as rushes and reeds and marginal plants such as Iris and Marsh Marigolds. Leave all vegetation pond side overnight to allow any wildlife to find their way back into the water. Re-pot or divide any overgrown marginal plants every two to three years. Use a plant food stick to keep nutrients going into the roots and help to encourage your plants to flourish.
Although surrounding trees give much needed shade in the Summer, the downside is that their leaves fall into the pond in Autumn. Now is a great time for a thorough clean of your pond. It's important to keep your pond debris free to prevent algae developing. A great way to do this is to invest in a pond net to catch falling leaves and other debris. You can opt for floating net pond protectors if you prefer not to see the net as much. Also regular use of a Pond Vac to hoover up sludge can save you a bigger job later in the season.
If your pond has sprung a leak, you will have no alternative but to drain the pond, repair the leak and refill the pond. Try to save the pond water as it contains beneficial life. If you do need to top-up with tap water, do add a water conditioner to remove harmful chlorine.
Once the water temperature has dropped to below 10 degrees you need to switch from your normal food to a good quality wheatgerm food. A wheat germ-based diet is designed to transition your pond fish from eating a high-protein, high-energy diet which they enjoy throughout the Summer to fuel their active underwater lifestyles – to their annual Wintertime fast, when they enter into a period of low metabolic activity. Use a pond thermometer to keep an eye on pond temperatures - when it drops below 4 degrees, stop feeding until it warms up above 4 degrees again.
Undertake Autumn maintenance now before the Winter hibernation starts. Frogs will return to the pond in Autumn to see out the Winter. Oxygen levels will rise as the water temperature drops. Once the water temperature falls to below 4 degrees, fish will hibernate on the bottom of the pond.
It is always advisable to give your pump and filter a once over before the Winter sets in. Change filter foams if needed. You will need to leave your system running throughout the Winter to maintain water quality in your pond.
WINTER SURVIVAL = POND HEATERS
It is a great idea to install a pond heater now to prevent your pond freezing in the winter. If the pond freezes over completely the toxic gases will not be able to escape, and this could kill your fish. Never break ice as the shock-waves can also kill fish. Get prepared, and buy a pond heater now.