Q: Fall is just around the corner. What kind of prep work should I be doing now?
Karen – McHenry, IL
A: Though we all wish summer could linger on forever, the reality of fall—and its associated pond chores—is nearly upon us. Cooler temperatures, shorter days and those brightly colored (and falling) leaves means you need to take a break from summer fun and get to work.
Here’s a quick rundown of the prep work you should be doing now:
When temps start to fall (particularly below 50°F), it’s time to add some cool-water beneficial bacteria to your pond, like the tiny muck-eaters in Pond Logic® Seasonal Defense®. They go to work decomposing leaves, scum and sediment that will inevitably build up over the fall and winter, which will result in better water quality for your finned friends.
Clean Up Your Plants
Cut back and remove any dead plant vegetation that’s inside and around your water garden. Use a handy long-reach tool, like the Pond Scissors and Pliers, to cut back water lilies and clear away dead marginals. As the temperatures cool even more, you’ll need to remove floating plants like hyacinth and water lettuce, sink your hardy water lilies and marginals into the deeper areas of your pond to protect them from freezing, and make plans to overwinter your tropical lilies inside.
Blowing leaves and other debris will drop into your pond during the fall, and if you don’t get them out, they’ll decompose over the winter and create a mucky mess in the spring. Plan to put a net over the pond, like the The Pond Guy® PondShelter™ Net Kit, to keep them out, and use a skimmer net to remove any stragglers.
Have Supplies Ready
While you’re thinking about fall, now is a great time to stock up on winter water garden supplies. Purchase a six-month supply of Seasonal Defense®. Buy some Spring & Fall Fish Food, which will help your fish transition from their regular diet to one that’s easier to digest in cooler temperatures. Make sure you have an aerator or deicer ready to keep a hole in the ice. Preparing ahead of time will prevent any last-minute scrambling.
Finally, continue to perform regular maintenance chores, like keeping your filter clean and operating well, doing periodic water changes, and feeding and checking on your fish. Summer is nearly over, but don’t neglect your pond-keeping routine!
Pond Talk: What other fall chores do you do in and around your water garden?
Filed under: Aeration - WG, Pond Accessories, Pond Netting, Seasonal Care, Water Gardens & Features, WG-Winterizing, Wheat Germ Fish Food Tagged: | cover net, Deicer, fall prep, falling leaves, leaves, plant maintenance, Pond Netting, pondshelter, seasonal, Seasonal Care, seasonal defense, winterizing aquatic plants