As winter approaches and there’s certainly that festive chill in the air, here at UK Water Features we’re already thinking about taking the important steps to protecting our water features for the upcoming season. Plants and fish should be taken care of first, then look after pumps, filters and fountains.
If you have tropical pond plants, they don’t really have any hope of surviving the winter months outdoors. They must continue to grow in a warm environment during winter months so deal with them before the first severe frost arrives.
Floating plants that you may have in your pond such as water hyacinth and water lettuce will only survive in greenhouse-like conditions. If you aren’t able to plant them in these conditions over winter, treat them as annuals and put them in the compost pile. On the other hand plants such as umbrella palm and papyrus make excellent houseplants after removing them from your pond. Any plants can be returned to the pond in spring once all danger of frost has passed.
Now let’s get into wildlife! Fish will survive the winter outdoors if your pond has a section that is deeper than 3 feet. Remove all the vegetation and fallen leaves from the pond though, as more fish die from toxic gases produced by rotting vegetation than from freezing.
Once the pond is clean, set up a pond heater or a small pump to bubble at the water surface. It has to run constantly to maintain an ice-free area. If you have a shallow pond, it is best to move your fish into an indoor aquarium for the winter period.
Remove all pumps, fountainheads and filters. Clean them thoroughly and store indoors where they can be protected from the elements and won’t freeze. Some manufacturers recommend that you put pumps into a bucket of water over the winter months to keep seals lubricated and extend the life of the pump, so you may want to try this.
It is also recommended that any statues, pond spitters and ornaments are stored indoors too to be protected from harsh weather in the months to come. If you don’t have this option and have to leave them out, be sure to clean the figures, dry them thoroughly, place in an area that is elevated out of the water or wet soil and wrap it in plastic to keep it dry.
Fountains should be empty and pumps stored indoors as mentioned above. If the fountain is light enough to move, dry it completely and store it out of the weather. If again this is not possible, follow the steps above for statues etc. to keep it dry and protected.
This also goes for Outdoor Water Features. If you are unable to store it indoors, do not panic!
Here at UK Water Features we have a range of great quality fountain protection covers that will keep your feature in top condition and protected from the elements until next spring. This includes a range of sizes just like our Medium Fountain Cover and our Extra Large Feature Cover, that are very easy to use with drawstrings to tighten around the base of your feature!
We hope this blog will have given you a few tips to start preparing your water features and ponds for the winter months. Remember not to leave jobs like these until the last minute to ensure you keep your features in tip top condition and enabling you to enjoy them for years to come!