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You’ve enjoyed your pond all summer. But every season offers a new challenge to pond care. A pond with fish and plant life requires extra care in the fall. Taking the time to do a few simple things will also help winterize your pond. Healthy Ponds® suggests the following tips to make sure your pond is ready for next summer.

Remove Those Fall Leaves

Leaves naturally start to fall this time of year. It’s beautiful to see, but leaves can be harmful to ponds. Leaves contribute excess nutrients in the water. This ultimately leads to algae. So you really need to skim the leaves off your pond regularly. Otherwise, they sink and become harder to retrieve.

The same is true for any other rotting plants or foliage. It’s important to remove any dead vegetation. Anything rotting under the ice can put additional stress on your pond’s oxygen level and kill fish over the winter.

To begin, you can simply use a rake or leaf rake to skim the leaves and debris from the top of your pond. Use a rake to remove debris from the bottom too. If your pond is shallow enough, put on a pair of waders and prune and remove debris by hand. A pond vacuum is another excellent way to remove any additional debris. Take care to not accidentally remove any floating plants that will grow back next summer.

Moving or Storing Your Pond Plants

Moving or storing your pond plants is another important step in pond care. If your pond is deep enough that it doesn’t totally freeze, hardier plants can be moved to deep water. This protects their roots from freezing. If your pond totally freezes, there are a couple things you can do.

Move any tropical lilies or tender plants and store them indoors. Any potted plants can be stored in a basement or heated garage. They should be potted without drainage holes and watered regularly.

Lilies and other delicate aquatic can be discarded or brought indoors. To store indoors, wrap each plant loosely in damp newspaper. Place in a trash bag and check every couple weeks. You want the newspapers to remain moist, but not soaking.

Feeding Fish

If your pond contains fish, you will need to start cutting back on how much you feed them. When water temperature falls below 50 degrees, you should cut back to three times a week. When water temperature falls below 40, stop feeding entirely.

This keeps the fish from creating excess waste in the pond. Remaining plants can process waste and turn it to algae. Fish go into a hibernation state and require little food. The remaining nutrients in the water should be sufficient enough for survival.

Covering the Pond

Fall leaves, blowing debris and downed branches are always a threat to a pond. Once you’ve removed debris and plants, it’s a good idea to cover your pond. There are several ways to do this. Netting and landscape fabric work well. You can also purchase special pond covers.

Be sure to secure your cover all the way around the perimeter. This not only protects it from debris getting in, it will make your spring pond work a lot easier.

Do Your Part, and Healthy Ponds Will Do Ours

Taking the extra time to really care for your pond really pays off. It will ensure you enjoy it for seasons to come. And for those times you do experience smelly water, weed growth or excessive organic matter? Healthy Ponds has a variety of all-natural products to help make the most of your pond. Contact Healthy Ponds at 877.948.0303 or go to healthyponds.com.