Have you ever noticed that your pond water is clearer in the Fall? This is typically due to cooler temperatures and full, lush plants. To keep your pond looking its best throughout the Fall season, follow our helpful, easy-to-follow pond maintenance tips.
Prune yellowing leaves off your plants. Your lilies, both tropical and hardy, should still be going strong, and some may even send up the occasional bloom all winter long here in the Sonoran Desert. Once the plants go into dormancy, leave them alone and don’t prune them back at all until after the last danger of frost has passed (late February, according to the Farmer’s Almanac).
Stop fertilizing plants, if you’re doing so, when the weather becomes cooler. This lets the plants know the season is coming to an end.
When the water temperature is around 50 degrees F, stop feeding your fish. If you continue to feed them commercial fish food, you might create health problems for your finned friends, since their digestive systems are beginning to slow down for the winter. Remember that the water temperature follows nighttime temps.
As leaves fall from nearby deciduous trees, you'll need to empty your skimmer’s debris net every day to keep up with the influx of leaves. Some leaves will undoubtedly sink to the bottom of the pond; try to remove as many as you can. However, a few left in the pond will give insects and frogs a place to over-winter. This is also true for the string algae that we get here in the desert instead of freezing over.
And speaking of string algae, this is something that you might experience during our “winter” months. If it becomes too unsightly, you can remove it by hand or use a product like Ecoblast. Personally, we prefer to leave some of it in our pond to act as a winter blanket for the aquatic life.
If you leave too much organic matter in your pond, the water may turn brown. If this happens, remove the excess debris and add activated carbon to clear the water.
The most important thing is to enjoy your water feature all year long. Keep some of these key maintenance issues in mind, and it will be smooth sailing. And, if you need any help or advice, we're as close as your phone or email!
Barbi Holdeman, co-owner of The Pond Gnome, enjoys sharing their 17+ years of education & experience with you! She writes about Phoenix Ecosystem Pond Installation, Pond Maintenance, Wildlife around the Pond, Koi and Goldfish in the Pond, and the Pond Lifestyle. If you enjoy what she writes, please share it!