Pond Care from the Winter

When winter comes to Mediterranean climates, no special care is needed to keep life in a backyard pond. Even where brief freezes are common, if pond plants’ rootstocks do not freeze, they should overwinter well. In cold weather, pond-bred fish enter a stationary condition where body functions drop to a minimal level. Usually, you don’t need to drain the pond’s water unless the liner requires repairs.

Getting Ready for Winter

When winter approaches, you’ll need to clean debris out of the pond water. Falling leaves may decay in the base of the pond and also angry the air balance. For the identical reason, remove dead and dying aquatic foliage and prune any excess growth of underwater plants. If leaf drop is unusually heavy, simplify fall maintenance by covering the pond with a screen or netting. Landscape mats are good for this purpose. Every five decades or so, give the pond a thorough cleaning.

Treating Different Plants

Aquatic plants fit into three major groups, based on their growth habits and objective. One of floating plants are water lilies (Nymphaea spp.) , advocated for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 10; water poppies (Hydrocleys nymphoides), USDA zones 7 to 10; and yellow snowflakes (Nymphoides geninata), USDA zones 8 to 10. These plants provide shade and filter the water. If you are outside the suitable hardiness zones, they aren’t worth the effort to overwinter. The second category, marginal plants, grow around the pond’s edges to act as a transition in the surrounding ground. The majority of these plants may be maintained, even if out their optimal zones. Pickerel rush (Pontederia cordata), USDA zones 5 to 10, and purple-leafed loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata “Firecracker”), USDA zones 5 to 9, can be underwater for the winter. On the other hand, dwarf papyrus (Cyperus isocladus), USDA zones 7 to 10, should be brought inside in colder regions. Submerged plants provide an exchange of gases with resident fish. One example, anacharis (Egeria densa), has a broad hardiness range, USDA zones 4 to 11, and should readily survive the winter.

Winter Fish Care

Water has a special feature that’s advantageous to koi and goldfish in lakes where ice may form in winter. In the 40 degrees F, water is denser than it is at temperatures above or below that mark. So that the 40-degree water settles into the bottom of the pond and doesn’t mix with the water unless disturbed. Any ice floating around the pond’s surface insulates the water in the even colder air in the air above, so fish seek the bottom waters. If necessary, your pond fish may spend cold charms hibernating in the 40-degree water.

Dealing With Ice

In areas that experience icing for an extended duration, water gardeners should protect against certain perils. Fish may be killed by methane gas released by decaying vegetation if it is trapped by ice on the pond surface. Ice may exert enough pressure on the sides of concrete pools to form cracks. Floating a ball around the pond surface is a simple method to keep hockey away. Other mechanical solutions include air bubblers and tiny pumps or low-wattage deicers of less than 200 watts. Be sure, however, these machines aren’t mixing the lower 40-degree puddle of water with the colder layers above.

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