Winter Pond Maintenance
So it’s early Winter, most of the leaves have finally fallen from the trees….now what? There are a couple things happening in the early parts of Winter that can affect your pond. The main ones being leaf fall and temperature changes. You can improve your pond by doing some basic Winter pond maintenance, it will save a lot of time later on.
If your pond is situated in an area with a lot of trees hopefully you netted your pond. If you did, then remove any leaves that are weighing it down. Rake the area directly around the pond to minimize how many can get blown back into the pond. Once the immediate area is cleaned, you can decide whether or not to remove the net or leave it for a while longer. Pay attention the trees in the surrounding area, Oaks, Japanese Maples and some other varieties hold their leaves for longer. If you have these varieties, wait until they are bare before removing the net. Once the net is removed you can scoop out any leaves that made it through the net. You don’t want those leaves sitting all Winter in the pond.
If you didn’t net your pond it becomes very important to regularly scoop out and remove any leaf build up. Definitely make sure to clean your skimmer basket and filter pads. Leaf build up that reduces water flow significantly can make your pump work harder and reduce its life span.
In our area it’s not unusual to see the temperature climb into the 50’s and 60’s in the early part of Winter. The higher temperatures can cause algae growth in your pond. When the water temperatures fall into the 40’s, bacterial activity slows down. You can boost this by using the Cold Water Bacteria, it remains active in temperatures in the 40’s. However with temperatures rising and falling fairly rapidly bacteria will sometimes fall behind on controlling the amount of nutrients in the water. This gives algae an opportunity to grow, and ample resources with which to do so. This is why using nets and filters to keep the pond free of debris is so important. You can control the algae growth with algaecide and physical removal as needed.
In the Spring these same temperature fluctuations occur, so it’s a good idea to use the Cold Water Bacteria in the spring as well.