Whether we like to admit it or not, winter is rapidly approaching. Days are shorter and darker and temperatures are inevitably dropping. Most homeowners know how to get their yards ready for the cold months ahead, but they sometimes struggle to achieve the same level of preparation for their ponds.
Either they don’t have the right pond supplies on hand or they use the right products at the wrong time. They may even do too much winter preparation which can be just as damaging as not doing enough.
This is going to be the first of several posts in which I share helpful tips on how to properly winterize your pond and ensure that the life within it emerges healthy and happy in the spring. For starters, I’m going to share some information that seem like a bit of a contradiction.
You want to leave some debris, dirt and mud in your pond when preparing it for winter.
Yes, you read that correctly. Some pond owners go a tad overboard with their pond cleaning. They drain out all the water, scrub the pond liner and refill the pond with fresh water. This is detrimental if winter is on the way. Frogs, snails and microscopic pond life rely on the mud at the bottom of your pond to keep them warm during winter. And your fish are counting on there being a cozy bed of leaves and disintegrated muck for them to hibernate in during the coldest days.
How Much Debris Should You Leave in Your Pond?
It’s good practice to remove about 90% of the leaves and other debris that have accumulated in your pond throughout the fall. Leave the rest for your fish and other pond life to enjoy. You may be surprised at the diversity of life that emerges in spring if you leave a few natural resources in your pond to help new life flourish.
How Pond Netting Can Help
Keep in mind that trees are going to continue to dispel leaves, sticks and other miscellaneous debris all throughout the winter. If your pond isn’t frozen, you don’t want all this excess debris to build up and become overwhelming. Prevent this problem by covering your pond with some nearly invisible black pond netting.