Most homeowners tend to have a small water garden or a pond in the backyard. These ponds tend to be able to enhance the beauty that that landscape has by adding the water element that contains a different variety of plants, flowers and at times there could be fish. However, it is a hurdle to maintain the health as well as the beauty of your garden pond during the very cold months. Below are tips for backyard maintenance for the winter months.
One of the things that can be done is to clean out the pond. During the cleaning, you should ensure that you have removed dead algae, flowers, leaves or any other debris that is lying around. By doing so, you will be reducing the chance of getting rotting foliage during the winter time. Rotten foliage is known to produce gases in the water that is found underneath the ice. The gas that is produced could be fatal to fish. However, while removing dead vegetation from your backyard, one should be careful so as not to get inadvertently rid of plants that are floating in the pond that will likely grow in the next spring.
The other thing that needs to be done is to move or remove plants. While preparing for the winter, move the hard plants into the deeper water, it should be at least 18 inches or deeper. By doing so, the plants will be kept from freezing. If the pond freezes entirely, the plants should be brought in the house and stored there for the winter. The tender plants need to be removed from the pond by wrapping each plant loosely with a newspaper that is damp. After doing this, they can be stored in a large trash bag. The newspaper should be checked every week to ensure that it is still moist. However, one should not let the newspaper be soaking wet.
Before winter the ponds filter should be cleaned. While cleaning the pond filter, the filter should be moved close to where the surface of the pond is so that the air bubbles that will break the surface of the water will prevent the pond from freezing out completely. On the other hand, one can also decide to remove the pond filter and store in indoors for the winter. Regardless of what one decides, the filter has to be clean before winter starts.
The other backyard maintained that is needed having the pond vacuumed. Vacuuming of the pond should be done once the plants that need to be moved have been taken out. The vacuuming is done so as to clear plants that are dead as well as other debris so as to prevent gases that are toxic from being produced. These gases could be lethal to fish.
The feeding of the fishes that are found in the pond should be reduced to the minimum as the temperatures begin to drop. If the temperatures go below, 10C then the feeding of the fish should stop altogether. Doing this is important as it keeps the fish from creating waste products that can be processed by the plants that are remaining. Note that since the fish will be at semi-hibernation, the nutrients that are found in the pond should be enough for the fish to be able to survive during winter.
The other thing that should be done is to cover the pond. The covering of the pond is important as it will keep the pond clean from any leaves or branches that fall during the winter. On the same note, it will make preparing the pond for the winter to be easier. Some of the things that can be used to cover the pond are shade cloth, landscape fabric, and netting. While covering he pond ensure that you secure the screen that is found around the edges of the pond.