Bursts of red, gold and orange in the trees signify an important event for pond owners … it’s time to do a little fall maintenance in your water garden. Preparing your pond for the winter greatly reduces the amount of work you need to do in the spring to get your pond in tip-top shape.
While the colorful spectrum of leaves are still clinging to the tree’s branches, now’s a good time to determine your strategy for keeping that beautiful foliage out of your pond. Sure, the lacy, colorful leaves look pretty floating on your pond’s surface, but eventually they’ll sink to the bottom where they’ll decay and wreak havoc with your water quality. As leaf matter decomposes, the balance of your water changes and can become toxic for your fish.
Netting your pond is an easy, obvious choice for addressing leaf control. It doesn’t take much time to set the net up over your water garden, and the hours of future work it saves you is priceless. You can purchase Aquascape pond netting online or from your local pond store.
If you choose not to net your pond, you’ll need to make sure that you’re checking the pond’s skimmer basket every couple of days to remove the pile-up of leaves. Luckily, this is an easy task and doesn’t take much time. Once you pull the leaves out of the basket, be sure to toss them in your compost pile.
Finally, if you failed to net your pond and all those colorful, floating leaves have found their way to the pond’s bottom, you’ll want to remove them before they decay into ugly sludge that has to be cleaned out in the spring. Grab a long-handled pond net and scoop the debris from the floor of your water garden. Or if you don’t mind getting your feet wet, wade on into the pond and fish them out by hand.
Whatever your strategy to combat the onslaught of beautiful fall foliage that floats into your pond, you can rest assured that your efforts to control it now, will be well rewarded come springtime.
For more information on fall and winter pond maintenance, watch our short video: