Winterize Your Pond

We are fortunate here in the South that our garden ponds don't freeze over in winter. In fact, there is very little to do to "winterize" your pond in our area.

In the fall you may want to feed your fish a special high carbohydrate low protein fishfood available at Bob's. When the water temperature dips below 50 degrees, don’t feed them at all. Your fish are entering hibernation which means the food may not digest properly. Feeding them could kill them. If your fish come to the surface on a warmer winter day, resist the temptation to feed them. They will return to hibernation once the temperatures dip again.

Don’t worry if your fish are lazy and listless. This is perfectly normal. They are hibernating and will perk up as soon as the water temperatures rise.

Bring in your tropical plants before the first frost. Cut your hardy plants down to about one to two inches above the water line. If you shut off your pump for the winter, remove the plants growing in your waterfall and place them in your pond. You don't want them to dry out.

Once you cut down your plants, you may want to create an alternative hiding place for your fish. You could build a cave made out of rocks or ask Bob to order you a "koi castle," a metal dome with wire mesh around the top and sides.

Place a net over the pond if you live in an area that is home to Blue Heron and Hawks. Once the cover of plants is gone, your fish are more vulnerable and the birds are hungrier. Make sure the net is taut and stakes are two to three inches apart.

Fill your pond with water before the first frost and keep it full all winter if the water level drops.

Cut back your perennials growing around the pond and mulch them, pull up the dead annuals. Clean up the area and enjoy your pond during the winter months! Winter gives you a break from all the water garden chores