Seasonal Pond Tips

Whatever type of pond you have it will need maintenance throughout the year, and jobs change depending on the weather. We are here to help with our seasonal advice from our experts at Bow Garden and Aquatic Centre.

Navigate the pond tips using the menu down below. 

Everyone knows that vegetables grown at home taste so much better than bought ones!

We stock seeds, young plants, seed potatoes, onion sets, garlic, asparagus and more when in season.  

Plus we have a range of fertilisers, watering accessories, growhouses, tunnels, greenhouses, canes and netting available.


Most gardens have a tree as a feature or backdrop  Trees are so emotive of the English countryside and they add welcome height and impact.  Trees will also have great benefit for garden wildlife in some shape or form.

Trees & Hedges

Shrubs come in a hugely diverse range of different shapes, sizes and colours which is great for the gardener as you can easily introduce shape and structure to your garden.  This great range of plants is present in virtually all gardens.  Shrubs are so easy,  they suppress weeds and they provide some amazing flowers and foliage too. They make borders easy, soften the look of walls and are easily pruned to keep in shape and under control. A great permanent plant, needing very little maintenance but providing a great contribution to any garden.


We stock a full range of herb plants.   

Adding texture and amazing scent to your garden, herbs are a must to complete any garden and can be easily grown in pots and moved about.  

Perfect for picking fresh to add to your cooking.  Simply keep them cut back to stop them growing out of control.

We also have herb seeds from Mr Fothergills and also Jekka, a herb expert.

Seeds & Bulbs

We carry a great stock of conifers and heathers in a multitude of colours

Ground cover conifers will stop weeds in a border, gravel garden or bank and are easily maintained. 

Conifers are perfect in a pot all year or can be used as a central focus surrounded by bedding plants. They add instant height and form and will still be there in Winter to surround with Winter bedding.  

In your borders evergreen conifers and colourful heathers combine magically!  Mix them in amongst shrubs, herbaceous plants and alpines to add structure and Winter form to your borders.  Dwarf conifers are great for alpine gardens.

Conifers & Heathers

Once your pond water has warmed up it's the ideal time to plant up your pond with new plants or replace any that you have lost over the Winter. All pond plants add oxygen and provide shelter for fish - add different varieties of water lilies, marginals and reeds to help. When putting new plants in always use aquatic compost in a pond basket topped with sterilised aquatic gravel, and for best results use a slow release aquatic plant fertiliser - all available in store. Hornwort, Willowmoss, ranunculus, potamogeton & callitriche are all great oxygenators, and are a good addition to your pond, add these now.   

Spring is when your filter will be working its' hardest, so ensure that everything is working properly.  Replace your filter foams if they have decayed or rotted away but the most important thing to do is to change your UV Bulb now.  These only last for 12 months and lose c.10% of their efficiency per month.  Spring is when Blanket Weed and Algae can take a hold of your pond so ensure your bulb is new.  If your pond is swamped with Blanket Weed or algae, come down to the store and either add a new filter or UVC, or grab some Blanket Weed or algae control - we have many solutions which work a treat!  More oxygen helps prevent Blanket Weed so ideally add an air pump and airstone and plants to your pond.  You should aim for 2/3 of your pond surface covered in pond plants, as this helps oxygenation, reduces algae and provides shading for fish and wildlife.

 Also give your pump an overhaul – check it is clear of debris and that the impeller is working well.

Clean out any excess sludge if you have some in your pond with a pondvac - these make pond cleaning really easy. Alternatively you can use a sludge busting product, available in store.  
If you are unfortunate enough to have a Heron that likes the taste of your fish - take action now and prevent your prized fish from becoming a quick snack. First off you can try a dummy plastic Heron, these look lifelike and can stop a real Heron from deciding your pond is his food plate, only as long as you keep moving it daily!  We have other heron scarers too which work well. Second defence is floating rigid pond netting - these float on the surface so are barely visible and will stop the Heron from getting to your fish.  We also have nylon pond netting that can be stretched across your pond as well.

Once the water temperature has risen above 10 degrees and your fish start to come to the surface and ask for food, start feeding them with your usual Summer feed.  Between 4-10 degrees keep feeding wheatgerm foods. Now is the time to stock up - we have lots of different varieties in store.

If you have anything about your pond that you are not sure of, just bring a sample of water into store and where possible some pictures and we will help to sort your problem out.

From next week we will have full stocks of many different varieties of pond fish, from goldfish, shubunkins, grass carp, orfe, tench, sturgeon, sterlets, with Japanese Koi and Classic Koi arriving next month. If you are stocking up your pond get a membership to our Fish Club and save 10% off all the fish you buy for the rest of you life for only a small fee - ask in store at the till.  Before adding fish it is always advisable to have your water checked so bring a sample in with you and we will test it for you to ensure your new pond mates will have a happy home!.


"It's now time to double check that everything in your pond is running smoothly. By now you should have a beautifully clear & healthy pond if your filter system is working properly. If not, pop in & see our aquatics team, who will be happy to help.

Check our pond health check below;-

1. Change your UV bulb.  They only last a year max (losing c.10% efficiency per month), so a new one annually or even every 6 months is a must, or you will have green water.

2. Check your filter sponges.  Rinse them out in pond water. It's ideal to stagger this over several weeks if you have multiple filter foams to help transfer good bacteria across the foams.  It's also ideal to top up your good bacteria levels whenever you do a clean - get some in store. Replace worn foams with new if they show any signs of decomposing.

3. Water quality test - it's important to check that your pond water is in good condition as prevention is better than cure. Bring a sample and let us check it, or come and get a test kit.

4. Feed regularly.  Use a feeding ring - this gets your fish eating out of your hand, can help prevent overfeeding as portion sizes are regulated, and helps prevent excess food drifting away into the pond which can lead to water quality issues. 

5. Add new fish to your pond now (not in humid conditions though).  Come and see us for any advice.

6. The pond plants on marginal shelves need their roots to reach the water or they will die. So you may need to top up your pond at this time of the year (add tap water de-chlorinator, available in store).

7. Add plant feed sticks (available in store) to give your pond plants a boost of slow release feed. Like any plant, they are more likely to bloom if you feed them.

8. Add some ""Summer Bedding"" plants to your pond in the shape of Waterlilies, marginals, and oxygenators such as Hornwort and Willow Moss to reduce the amount of water exposed to the sun, and therefore combat algae and blanketweed growth.  This will also provide some cover for your fish.  We recommend 2/3 of your surface is covered by plants.  Come and see us for advice.

9. Add an oxygenating pump to your pond now.  Plants release CO2 at night and to combat this drop in oxygen levels an oxygenating pump will compensate for this - after all your fish need well oxygenated water to thrive and grow.

10. Always keep pumps on 24 hours a day to help aeration.

11. Green Water?? Come and see us for some algae and blanketweed treatments that really work.

12. Herons are very active at this time of year - so come and see us now to get a heron deterrent.  Our experts can advise on the best option to stop your valuable fish becoming a heron's lunch."


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. 


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.


Most of the maintenance that needs to be done to a pond to see it through Winter can be done in the Autumn but here is a quick list to double check your pond is ready for the colder weather.



Remove any dead or rotting matter from your pond before it sinks to the bottom and decays into sludge.  Get a net & long-handled pond grabber - great for getting anything out of your pond!  Use a pond vacuum to get any sludge out before it decays & creates poisonous gases.



If you get a lot of debris in your pond then install a skimmer, which takes the surface debris off the pond.  Alternatively put netting or floating net-floats over your pond- these will stop falling leaves dropping into your pond.  Floating pond nets are nearly invisible to the eye and are a great heron deterrent too.



NEVER turn your pump and filter system off for the Winter.  This is a big mistake a lot of people make.  Your fish need clean oxygenated water all the time and keeping your system on will ensure that this is provided throughout Winter.  If you have a fountain this can also help stop your pond freezing!



Frozen water can be very bad for your pond.  Filters and pumps can blow if the water in the pipes freezes so it's a good idea to insulate any exposed pipework.  



It is a great idea to install a pond heater now to prevent your pond freezing in the Winter.  A pond heater works by ensuring an area of your pond never freezes over.  

If the pond freezes over completely there is a risk that any toxic gases building up cannot get out of your pond, and if this happens it could kill all your fish.  Never break ice as the shock-waves can also kill fish.  Get prepared, and buy a pond heater now.



While it is still mild (and temperatures are above 4 degrees, and below 10 degrees) make sure you are feeding a Wheatgerm diet as your fish cannot digest protein in normal fish food during the Winter months.  Get a pond thermometer to keep an eye on water temperature, as this often varies from air temperature.



If you need any further advice, please come and see us, and our friendly team will be happy to help.