A home water garden need not be an overwhelming experience. In fact, other than some minor maintenance the pond should take care of itself. This article will guide you in the process of maintaining your water garden through the various seasons. Keeping your water quality, plant life, and fish in peak shape will allow you the most fulfillment from your garden.
Spring is a crucial time of year for your garden.
1. It is important that the fall netting is removed and all debris and leaves are cleaned from the pond.
2. The heater may be removed and the pump may be reinstalled. Be sure that all electrical components are working properly and filters are cleaned.
3. You may start feeding fish as long as the water temperatures reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Be sure not to overfeed as wasted food will rot at the bottom of the pond. Also, overfeeding can cause fish to breed also tainting water quality.
4. “Algal bloom” may occur as the water warms leaving the surface of your water green. Patience on your part will allow microorganisms to eat it up within a few days. Large strings of algae can also be removed by hand.
5. Installing new plant material is always a treat! You can begin this process mid to late spring.
1. During late spring into summer, plants will begin to flourish. Be sure to thin out plants and separate to keep your garden from overgrowing.
2. Check water levels frequently. As evaporation occurs be sure to top up the pond.
3. If you notice your fish panting at the surface of the water, your pond may need oxygen. The easiest way to oxygenate your water is to spray water along the surface. Having a fountain or waterfall installed will also oxygenate and enhance water quality.
4. Once again, be sure to check pumps and filters to prevent blockages.
1. Continual leaf cleanup may be necessary. Now is a great time to consider installing the fall net to help catch leaves before entering your pond.
2. Cutting back plants to surface level is part of winterizing your water garden. Bring plant material that may not make it through the winter inside.
3. As temperatures start to cool only feed fish on warm days. Feeding on colder days is not required. Fish may also require a higher protein diet to help them through the winter months.
4. Replace pond pump with a heater. This will help keep the pond from freezing solid.
1. In the dead of winter the pond may freeze over. Be sure to create a hole by melting through with a pot of hot water. Do not hit the ice with a blunt tool, as fish may go into shock! A hole from the surface will allow a pocket of air between the ice keeping the remaining water from freezing.
Following these seasonal tips will help ensure that you receive the most benefits from your home water garden as well as the most time to enjoy it.