One of the most beautiful additions to any yard or garden is a water feature. Whether it’s a pond, waterfall, or fountain, the natural, luxurious look of a water feature is guaranteed to improve the atmosphere of any property.
However, water features do require some more maintenance than other forms of landscaping. This is especially true of Seattle water features during the winter months.
Here is a step-by-step process on how you can properly winterize your outdoor pond or fountain. With the right maintenance, your water feature will survive the winter unscathed, and will continue to be that lovely yard centerpiece you love so much.
Winterizing Your Fountain
Let’s start with your fountain. As they are taller than other yard decorations and often standing alone, fountains are frequent casualties of the harsh winter months. The first step in winterizing your fountain is to cut the electricity and stop the water flow.
Next, drain all the water, then use sponges and scrubs to clear out the algae that has collected. Non-toxic cleaning material is important so pay attention to what chemicals you use in the cleaning process. All natural, non-toxic are most preferable.
The next step in preparing your fountain for winter is covering it up. But before you do, take a few minutes to check every layer, pipe, and piece of tubing where leftover water may be hiding. One of the main purposes of covering the fountain is to keep moisture from building up inside. If this step is skipped, you may find algae build-up next spring.
The cover itself doesn’t need to be fancy. A simple painter’s tarp will do, as long as it is clear. Buying a clear tarp will let sunlight in and help prevent algae from growing. To further protect the fountain, grab a ballpoint pen and punch a dozen or so holes in the plastic. These holes will let any remaining moisture evaporate, but they won’t be big enough to invite the rain or snow inside. Do not cut holes, as these slits will continue to tear and before you know it your fountain will be full of water again.
Winterizing Your Garden Pond
During the fall, it’s a good idea to place protective netting over the pond to collect leaves. But even if you take precautions, there will likely be debris on the surface and bottom of the water feature. If you haven’t already, invest in a sturdy long-handled net to scoop everything out. Next, trim back the aquatic plants in and surrounding the pond. Water lilies are lovely in the spring and summer, but decomposing plants can be harmful to fish once the ice sets in. The same goes for any reeds growing on the pond’s edge and drooping into the water.
If your pond includes waterfalls or a fountain, consider shutting down the water feature. Operating the pump during the winter is running a risk: ice buildup can cause the running water to overflow, and the pump itself can be damaged by freezing temperatures. When you turn it off, make sure to remove the pump, filter, and UV clarifier, and store them all safely indoors. Finally, keep your colorful aquatic life healthy. Here are a few ways to protect your fish:
- Buy a portable pump. With a small pump circulating water just under the surface, ice will be unable to form over that spot, allowing oxygenation for the fish.
- Another great product is a floating de-icer. It, like the pump, provides oxygenation to the water and will keep your fish from being iced in.
- Make sure you know what type of fish you have and what requirements they have for winter care. The last thing you want is to buy new fish in the spring; a little research goes a long way.
Talk to the Experts
At B&D Rockeries, it is our goal to enhance your yard or garden with the highest quality landscaping services. For over 35 years, our experienced team of professionals has served the Seattle area with a true interest in the customer’s vision for a beautiful yard. We are equipped to install any style of water feature, working with you to find the best pond, falls, or fountain for your property.
For more information on water features or our landscaping services, call us at (866) 758-3755 or fill out our contact form.