ponds in the winter

If you have a pond in your yard, there is no doubt that it is a source of relaxation and beauty for you and your family. Ottawa has some harsh winter conditions each year, and preserving the life of your pond is an important winterizing task. Here are four pointers to take for winterizing your pond.

Water Levels

If you choose to shut your pond down for winter, ensure that you leave about two feet of water in the bottom of your pond to keep any plants or fish alive that are to remain in the pond for the winter season.

The Water Pump

It’s very important not to lose track of your water pump over the winter months. The pump is an essential tool to provide oxygen to the plants and fish that live in your pond. Most models can survive the cold weather, but will typically need the help of a water heater to keep the water from freezing when January and February hit. If you choose to close your pond for the winter, be absolutely certain to take the water pump out of the pond and immediately immerse it in a bucket filled with water. Once a water pump has been used it cannot be allowed to dry out. The seals expand when the pump is covered in water and they will crack and break if they are allowed to dry. Keep the water pump in a bucket of water until it is time to return it to the pond in the spring.

Take Care of Plants

Some plants can survive the winter months, they just need a little trim. Water lilies, for example, can survive in the winter if they are trimmed down to about two feet. Other plants like annuals just need to be cleaned up around the pond and replanted the following year.

Take Care of any Fish

If you have Koi fish in your pond, there is a great chance they will survive the winter if you leave them in about two feet of water and with plenty of rocks and gravel at the bottom. To keep these fish alive over the winter you will need to provide them with a source of oxygen, so keeping your water pump and a water heater will be essential to their survival. It is also important to stop feeding your fish early on in the winter to allow their metabolism time to slow down. This is what keeps them alive over the winter months, and if you feed them too late into the winter they won’t be able to digest the food in time and it could end up killing them.

If you have any questions with respect to winterizing your backyard pond feel free to call Ritchie Feed & Seed for expert lawn & garden advice! Our garden supply stores are conveniently located throughout Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa region to better serve you.

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