Water Gardens and Old Man Winter
Water gardens and Water features have different needs as the seasons change. Seasonal maintenance is a necessity to keep your feature or garden working and running correctly
As the trees lose their leaves, you must be careful to protect the water gardens from these leaves. The filtration system of your fountain will need checked and cleaned much more often to remove the debris and keep the filter running smoothly. It may be a good idea to net any trees to prevent leaves from falling into the pond. Leaves are dangerous to your water garden, because they will sink to the bottom, decompose, and release toxic gasses into your pond. Your pond plants should also be cut back or removed during the fall.
If you have fish in your water garden, their metabolisms will gradually being too slow, requiring less feeding. When the water temperature reaches 55 degrees, you should stop feeding your fish, as they can digest food in this temperature.
Water features need cleared of any falling leaves or debris, as they can clog the pump causing it to burn out. If you choose to continue to run your fountain in the fall, make sure to pay close attention to nighttime temperatures, because on freeze can cause the pump to break or create cracks in your fountain.
During the winter months, your water garden can become a beautiful winter wonderland as snow falls over the moving water and ice crystals form. However, make sure to keep an open hole in your pond to release toxic gasses. This can be done through pond de-icers, which are little coils hung from floaters that gently melt ice.
It may be best to shut down your waterfalls or streams, as they can freeze solid creating dams, which can damage the plumbing of the pond. Be sure to check for ice damage regularly.
Water features and fountains, if in cold areas prone to freezing temperatures, are best brought indoors during winter months. The pumps are not strong enough to keep water circulating, making them prone to freezing and burning out. If possible, a smaller outdoor fountain can make a soothing accent for an indoor porch, but it is best to drain the fountain and store in a garage or shed, wrapped in burlap if possible. If indoor storage is not possible, a fountain cover is a suitable alternative.