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Winter Pond Preparations


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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For many pond owners, fall signals the beginning of winter preparations. As the pond season slowly winds down, we reluctantly put our ponds and water gardens to rest. However, careful planning during fall can provide hours of viewing pleasure throughout the winter season.

ENJOY A WONDERFUL WINTER WATER GARDEN

During summer, ponds and water gardens are rich with colorful blossoms and vibrantly colored koi and goldfish. The summer pond landscape, or pondscape, relies on color for visual interest. However, the key to an interesting winter pondscape is texture and structure. When removing dead or decaying plant material during fall, leave several untrimmed marginal plants to add winter interest.

Tall marginal plants such as cattails or ornamental grasses provide a vertical, structural element that breaks up the flat and monotonous winter landscape. These plants also enrich the winter pondscape by adding movement and sound as they sway and rustle in the winter wind. Consider using Willow Fences for additional natural texture and to define the perimeter of your pond for winter safety.

Light up dark corners
Shorter days may mean longer nights but you don't have to spend them in the dark. Winter offers the perfect opportunity to enhance your pondscape with lights. Versatile pond lights can be used in or out of water. Use Egglites underwater to highlight waterfalls during the summer, and transition them for winter use by removing them from the water. Tuck these lights within the rockwork, and after a blanket of snow cover, you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking and serene light show. Be sure to connect all electrical equipment to an outlet with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

Attract winter wildlife
Even in the middle of winter, your backyard pond can be full of life and energy. The playful antics of hardy wild birds transform a seemingly lifeless pondscape into a vital hub of activity. Provide an accessible source of food and water to attract wild birds. Position bird feeders near your pond and fill them with quality wild bird food and offer suet to attract a greater variety of birds.

As for a source of water, use the Tetra Floating De-icer to keep an area of open water in your pond. This decorative and functional de-icer has a faux stone housing that blends naturally with the pondscape. The opening in the pond ice allows proper gas exchange for your hardy pond fish and also provides a source of water for winter birds. A heated birdbath placed near your pond is a great alternative if you have a decorative or ornamental pond with no fish.

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Pond Lighting

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