homeowners find the closing down of their pond for the winter a
labourious task and it should not be. The normal procedure of keeping your pond clear of debris is
very important not only at closing but also throughout the rest of the
year. It helps if you
inoculate the pond in the spring with Bacta Pur Nutra Pak followed by
regular applications of Bacta Pur Klear.
If your pond has a soil bottom then make regular applications of
Bacta Pur Pond. If the
bottom of the pond is clean then it is only a matter of keeping the
falling and blowing leaves out of the pond by placing a pond net over
it. As you pull the net
over the pond anchor it with some of the decorative rocks from around
the edge. In areas and
times of heavy leaf fall then pull the trapped leaves off before they
become so heavy as to sink into the water, become even heavier and block
out the light.
the Harding off process by stopping all fertilization about one month
before you plan to close the pond or before the temperature drops.
This particularly true of your nighttime temperatures they can
really drop your water temperatures.
over wintering of your hardy plants can be done by either leaving them
in the pond below the freezing level of the water which is usually the
top two to three feet of water or by sinking them in the garden.
If you sink them in the garden they must be dormant and trimmed
back. They are then buried
so that there is about four to six inches of soil the over top of them.
The plants in the garden should be marked as to position and
variety. There is nothing worse than having someone till or weed the
garden first thing in the spring, damaging or killing the plants.
If your pond is to shallow and may freeze then you take the
chance of loosing even the hardiest of plants over winter.
They can be brought in and stored in cool temperature (40°F)
in the dark and kept moist. There
are a few that will survive quite well frozen in shallow water.
These include Cattails, Horsetails, Marsh marigolds, and
Variegated Manna grass, Iris, Sweet Flag and Water Forget Me Nots
Hardy water lilies, Lotus, Iris pseudacorus and Iris versicolor
tender or tropical plants must be brought in before the water and / or
air temperatures become to cold. Some of these can be kept, as moisture-loving houseplants
while others may have to be stored in laundry tubs or containers. The
tropical pond plants will need at least four to five hours of sunlight
and a water temperature of sixty-five degrees F. (18°C)
as they may continue to grow slowly in the winter.
A friend of mine uses his downstairs bathtub to winter his plants
in this group. Needless to
say his wife is just thrilled.
As houseplants -
Umbrella Palm (Cyperus alternifolius) and Dwarf Umbrella Palm (Cyperus
Water lilies are best stored in large containers with bright light.
the water temperatures begin to drop below 65°F
the need for protein by the fish is ever
decreasing so reduce your feeding and substitute Wheat Germ for their
high protein food. Stop
feeding when the water temperature is below 50°
F. If your pond may freeze
solid then it is best to bring your fish inside before the water gets to
cold and house them in aquariums or large tanks. Do not forget to
provide water aeration and light. Remember
my friend; his wife put her foot down when it came to fish in the sink,
bathtub and no one cleaning the fish tank. They stay in the pond and if they die, they buy more of the
gold coloured Carp. To date
they have lost two Goldfish with lots of additional young ones.
Koi on the other hand can be valuable and treasured specimens can
be over wintered indoors in cool aquariums or large tanks with aeration,
filtration and light.
is important to keep an opening in the ice throughout the winter. This
opening allows for the exchange of toxic gases.
A build up toxic gases can be detrimental to both plants and
fish. The water can be kept
open using pond de icers placed in the pond just before the first thin
layer of ice forms. It is
important to make sure that they do not warm the water to much as this
will keep the plant and fish life in the pond to active for to long into
the fall and early winter. When
there are large fish or large numbers of fish to over winter then it is
best to also put a small bubbler in the pond to oxygenate the water.
The rule is just one inch of fish for every square foot of water
surface area. This bubbler
must not create a strong enough disturbance to create a current which
would lower the pond waters temperature to closer to freezing because
this could kill both your plants and fish.
all this is done now is the best time to do small maintenance things on
your pond. First check all
physical parts like your electrical systems for wear and tear.
Clean all debris out of your pumps and filters.
Bio Filters could be cleaned now but remember to re inoculate
them with bacteria in the spring.
Always follow the manufacture’s
instructions at all times in these matters.
there are no guarantees, but following these directions and those of the
manufactures you should have good success with over wintering your
plants, fish and pond.