Home & Garden Swimming Pools & Water Fountains & Ponds

How to Winterize a Garden Pond

    • 1). Remove excess oxygenators from the pond. These are plants that provide oxygen and act as biofilters. According to "The Practical Rock & Water Garden," thinning them out prevents rot, and the resulting unsafe environment for fish. Pluck them out by hand or scoop them out with a pool skimmer. Compost them or overwinter them.

    • 2
      Remove nonhardy plants.Water Lily image by Duane Keeler from Fotolia.com

      Remove nonhardy water plants, such as tropical water lilies. Place in a water-filled tub or an aquarium, and bring them indoors under artificial lights. The Iowa State University Extension suggests they need light for about 12 to 18 hours a day to keep them alive but not growing. Do not feed them.

    • 3). Cut back hardy water plants and place them on the bottom of the deepest part of the pond, if it is at least 3 feet deep. If your pond is shallower, bring them indoors for the winter.

    • 4). Cover tender marginal plants growing around the edge of the pond with an organic mulch to protect them from cold. When the first frosts have blackened the leaves, cover them completely with about six inches to a foot of mulch.

    • 5
      Take care of your fish.fish in the pond image by alri from Fotolia.com

      Feed your fish extra food that is higher in fiber as night-time temperatures dip below 40°F. Stop feeding the fish altogether when the water temperature gets below 45°F.

    • 6). Move your water pump to a location midway between the bottom and the surface of the pond. It can be used to power a bubbler or to gurgle on its own to help keep the pond partially clear of ice. According to "The Practical Rock & Water Garden," don't set it on the bottom of the pond, or it will disturb the slightly warmer layer where the fish live. This can kill your fish.

    • 7). Place a bubbler or a floating de-icer in the pond, according to the University of Illinois Extension, to keep it open in winter to prevent water quality issues from killing your fish.

    • 8
      Turn off fountains.sc jar image by scorpiofoto from Fotolia.com

      Turn off any fountains or pumps to flowing water courses.

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