The fall pond service, or pond winterization service, for most backyard ponds is an important component in keeping a healthy and balanced pond all year round. The pond winterization service should not be overlooked or discounted by pondowners. The pond winterization service is a vital preparation for your pond as it is heading into some of the harshest weather and outdoor conditions of the year. Pond owners need to ask themselves; can they really feel they can get by on just a spring cleanout every year?
Most koi pond and water garden owners find that ponds are pretty resilient when taking into account the conditions that a pond is exposed to; plus the high demands that pond owners place on water quality and clarity. Koi pond and water garden owners want it clean and clear. Clean clear pond water can be achieved, and it only takes a little preparation, a little bit of pond winterization.
The transition from when most koi ponds and water gardens are at their seasonal glory, around September, to the seasonal decline in October is rapid. Rapid to the point of deceiving ponds owners into thinking that the beautiful thriving pond they are covering over will be pretty good come spring. No matter where you live, the winter months bring some weather challenges; but the colder regions seem to get it especially bad. Not only are there the windy conditions blowing dust, debris, and all sorts of materials around like in most areas; but add to this falling leaves, snowfall, ice storms, sub-zero conditions, short days, power failures, fish kills, and most would agree that things get pretty extreme for 4 or 5 months each year. Many pond owners make the mistake each year of tossing a net over the pond in November and hoping for the best come March. Come March the best is rarely delivered. But we can help ourselves with a pond winterization service.
The fall pond winterization service is a great preparation for long term pond health. Those beautiful plants will soon be dormant so now is the time to cut them back so as those leaves, flowers, shoots, and stems die off they do not sit in your pond all winter decaying. Those few early leaves that fell already should be netted out of the pond too. A complete and thorough cleanout of the skimmer box is a wise thing to do at this point. Clean the skimmer well removing ALL debris, sediment, and sludge that may have built up during the season. Check and clear the pump intakes. Make sure your check valve is still good. Put in a new sponge filter for the winter, and if the net is questionable put a new one in to handle winter debris.
The main filter and biofalls should be completely cleaned. Rinse the filter media thoroughly in a tub of pond water. Rinse those thick filter pads clean of collected debris until the water runs clear out of them. Toss a bag of carbon in the biofalls for the winter months if you want to see some crazy clear water! Flush the main line of the pond just to be sure nothing is building up in the line. Replenish any pond water used for cleaning, with fresh conditioned water for a small water change before winter.
Now you can disconnect and drain any equipment like UV lighting, or pressure filters that cannot be left out during freezing weather; pop those suckers in the shed or garage ‘til Spring. Install your de-icers and bubblers. Add some cold water beneficial bacteria and NOW, you can get your net on! A high quality net can be used again and again or disposable nets can be used for a season and thrown away. Whatever net you choose, install it tight so accumulating leaves do not dip down into the water. Using poles and creating a “tent” structure with your net is very effective.
These simple steps give a measure of assurance that livestock will over winter well. With these simple steps your pond can go into the long harsh winter months confidently, and come out the other side into Spring in good shape. There is no doubt that Old Man Winter will let you know that he enjoyed your pond and left a wintery mess while you were inside looking out; but the pond winterization service makes the Spring pond opening a touch easier as well. These simple steps can be done by many pond owners as a weekend project, or call in your local pond professional for these services. Your local pond pro is always happy to help and can likely get the entire job done in less than 2 hours! Just Google “pond services your town”; a pond pro is easy to find.
…..Or call me and I’ll find you a pond pro in your area!
All copyrights to this material is solely owned by Mike Gannon.