Autumn brings with it key jobs that need to be done in both the garden and to ponds for both to prosper the following Spring. A garden pond that is neglected in Autumn is likely to suffer the the consquences of rapid algae growth. Following these three important steps will guarantee a healthy pond with less maintenance required in the warmer Spring and Summer months:
- Remove fallen Autumn leaves from the pond surface as quickly as possible
Fallen tree leaves should not be allowed to sink below the surface of the water. If they do they will start to rot. The result of this will be an increase in water nutrient levels throwing off the ecological balance of the water giving algal bloom and blanketweed a chance to thrive. Remove the leaves as frequently as possible with a net. Skim off the leaves and add them to the compost heap.
- Prune back aquatic plants to get rid of dead or tatty growth
Pruning will help improve water quality by reducing the chance of vegetation left to decay in your pond.
- Check water quality and remove any blanketweed from the water surface
- Remove silt from the bottom of your pond
Autumn pond cleaning
If its viable remove your pond pump, filter, lighting and any other equipment to give it a clean and overhaul. Pond pumps and filters work to maintain a healthy pond environment for all pond inhabitants during the Spring and Summer months. As plant and fish activity slows down, pond pumps and filters can gradually be turned down when the water temperature starts to drop below 10 degrees Celcius. This will also help to leave fish hiding in the deeper more sheltered parts of your pond undisturbed.
Fish are still active during Autumn, particularly on warmer days. If you have fish in your pond, continue feeding them enough for them to consume within five minutes.
It is always a good idea to monitor the water level of your pond. If you notice a drop (more than just from evaporation), check that your pond liner is still in good, water tight condition. If any repair work needs to be done, do it before the cold weather sets-in.
Once autumn pond maintenance tasks have been completed, there is generally nothing more to do for your garden pond until Spring.
Enjoy Autumn and the orange hues it brings to our gardens!