Maintenance of water features
You know well enough how much of a difference a good water feature makes to your garden. Having a pond, a small lake or a fountain included in the garden design is a secure way to add interest and make those summer nights on the porch more memorable.
Water features, like every other part of the garden, need to be adequately maintained. Especially when temperatures drop and the climate changes significantly. Now is the time to invest some effort and time to protect your water features and get them through winter without any trouble.
Here are few tips you should follow in that regard:
- See that your water plants are ok – water plants are about to enter dormancy, which means they are at their most vulnerable state right now. If you have been adding fertiliser up until now, it is time to stop. That way they will stop growing and enter dormancy. Check for dead leaves and cut them back. Make sure they don’t decompose in your pond/fountain, as that adds nutrients to the water and you might have trouble with bacteria.
- Take care of other falling foliage – leaves are plenty, and they will inevitably end up in your pond. A small pond/fountain can have its nutrient levels changed if too many leaves end up in the water. There is some trouble caused by this, mainly for plants and animals in the pond. Make sure you skim the leaves often enough or use a net over the pond to prevent the leaves from falling in.
- Water flow management – that is one task you need to invest time in if you have a rain garden or any other naturally-fed water feature. With increased rain, the garden may often overflow, causing some trouble. The way to fix this is by cleaning drains or adding gutter covers to enable rainwater to move freely into the water features.
- Put fish to bed – if you have a fish pond in your garden with species that go dormant in the winter months, you must keep an eye on water temperature. Temperature alerts fish it is time to stop feeding, which is when they enter dormancy. When the water temperature reaches about 12 degrees Celsius, stop adding food. If you don’t, the water will become extra dirty, and fish will have a harder time surviving throughout the winter.
- Winterising water features – if the winter in your area is particularly nasty, you should shut down whatever water feature you have. The main issue with water is that it expands as it freezes, which could lead to many potential problems. If you are confident you can keep the water running, then at least add a floating de-icer. Again, keep an eye on the temperature. If it drops too low, shut down the water feature.
By seeing to the safety of your water features, you can ensure they make it intact through winter. In doing so, you can once again take the joy of them next year, when temperatures warm up.