Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > November 2014 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - CLEANING A WATER GARDEN AND PREPARING FOR WINTER


As with any outdoor water source, a water garden collects organic matter that needs to be cleaned out.  The best time to do this is when the water temperature is cooler.  This helps minimize any stress to fish that may live in your water garden.
                Leaves are beginning to fall heavily.  There is always a problem with leaves collecting on the ponds’ surface.  These leaves will soon fall to the bottom and decompose, releasing chemicals into the water that can be harmful to plants and fish.
                First step is to have a large holding container for the plants and fish, large enough to hold the amount of water needed to sustain the plants and fish for several hours while you are emptying and cleaning the water garden.  With the plants, start out by cutting back all the foliage that turns yellow or brown so that it will not decompose in the water.
                As the water is being emptied out of the garden, use a stiff, nylon brush to scrub down the sides of the pond so any debris collects in the bottom of the pond.
                Use the brush and a dust pan to collect up the debris and any remaining water in the bottom of the pond.  GARDEN TIP:  Use this water as a soil amendment to plants in your landscape.
                Refill the water garden with the water from the holding container, then fill it the rest of the way with tap water.
                Place a netting over the water garden to keep all remaining falling leaves from collecting in the garden.
                Set your water plants at the bottom of the pond where it is warmer.
                Stop feeding the plants and fish.
                Run a pump to keep the water from freezing over.  If the roots of plants freezes, then the plants will die.
                For the health of the fish, try not to let the pond freeze over.  Gases that are harmful to fish can form and get trapped under the ice.  To prevent ice from forming, run a water pump or use a water heater.
                In the winter a pond looks lifeless.  But, with the proper winter care, it will be full of life in spring.
Posted: 11/14/2014 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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