Seasonal Pond Maintenance.
Autumn is the worst time for water feature maintenance, trying to keep the leaves out of ponds. If you have a small Pond you could cover it with a netting to keep out the leaves. When the leaves have finished falling and have been cleared up you can remove the net as it is usually unsightly especially if your pond is in view from your Home.
Large ponds which are too big to cover with netting are best cleaned regularly of leaves by scooping them out with a fishing net, becareful not to catch your fish if you have any and don't damage any of your aquatic plants.
Clean your pump filter regularly as they will block up with leaves.
Make sure and compost your leaves it will make great leaf mould for your plants.
If you don't have a compost area just bag them in sacks and puncture a few holes
in the bag and store them.
Make sure you have a pond de-icer, at bare minimum, if you are keeping fish in the pond over the winter. Methane gas can build-up and get into the water supply and then kill the fish.
Do not feed fish.
Clean pump filter, dont run pump in frozen conditions.
Get rid of any dead plants, leaves or debris from the pond.
Throw a couple of tennis balls in the pond to alleviate pressure on the structure of your pond when the ice hits.
Check water level regularly in case of leaks or evaporation.
At this time of the year your pond starts to wake up after the dormant winter period.
First we must check and clean out the pump and filter, especially if they were turned off during the winter months. Make sure all dead foliage of plants are cut back and cleared away.
Check the bottom of the pond for any debris or broken twigs etc, that the winter winds may have blown in. Now is a good time to divide water lilies if they haven’t been done for a long time, usually every three years is recommended, or they will take over the pond.
As the water temperature rises make sure no algae appears and if so manually remove and apply a suitable treatment to the water.
Frogs and Toads will start to come out and mate and produce spawn. Fish will awake from hibernation so be careful not to stress them, be careful doing your cleaning.
Never completely empty out all the water and fill up with new water as you will be back where you started when the pond was first installed. All those natural nutrients and enzymes will be lost and have to be built up again. A certain amount of silt build up in the bottom of ponds is good, it’s full of life and helps feed plants and fish etc. If your pond is very dirty you should always leave at least a third of the pond water and can top up the rest with new clean water.
Don't forget your pond has its own little eco system.
Always clear off any debris from the pond surface like leaves and twigs etc that blow in. Top up water level weekly as evaporation increases in summer months. Cut off any dead flower heads and leaves from aquatic plants.
Check pump filters monthly; make sure they don’t get blocked by Mulm. (Mulm is a slimy pond version of compost that builds up in the bottom of the pond, its good source of nutrients for aquatic plants)
As pond water temperature increases make sure the pond is well aerated, run water pumps for at least 10 hours a day. In full sun the surface of your pond should be covered with up to 50% green plant material such as water lilies to keep down algae and offer shade for fish. If your plants cover more surfaces, cut them back or pull some out. Excess plant material can be used as an excellent addition to your compost heap.
By doing summer pond maintenance, your pond will retain its balance and thrive. Regular care will keep water looking beautiful, while keeping all your pond life happy and healthy.