Garden ponds whether lined with a flexible pond liner, concrete or a preformed liner all need a similar level of maintenance as each new season approaches. Autumn is not quite with us yet but putting steps in place as the seasons start to change will help minimise the effort involved – October and November are generally considered the two months when Autumn pond maintenance is carried out and aquatic plants are put to bed for winter.
Steps to maintaining your pond in preparation for Winter
- If you have any number of trees in your garden you will need to either use a skimmer to regularly skim off leaves from the water surface before they sink to the bottom of your pond and start to decompose. Or, invest in a pond net. Either way it is important to prevent as few dry, autumnal leaves floating to the bottom of your pond. Decomposed matter releases methane and hydrogen sulphate gases which are toxic to aquatic plants and fish.
- Cut back untidy looking Marigolds to just above the water line.
- Floating plants such as waterlilies can be cut back but any annual floating plants such as the Water-Hyacinth should be removed and discarded as they won’t survive a cold, frosty winter.
- Clean filters thoroughly before winter as bacterial activity will be slowing as water gets colder.
- Do some water tests to confirm quality of water is still good. Oxygen levels should be increasing as water temperatures drop.
- Check pond liner for leaks.
- Check that the edge of your pond liner is still sufficiently covered and protected by edging material to protect from visiting claws.
If you do find a possible tear in a flexible pond liner, then you can order a pond liner repair kit to get the leak sorted rather than ordering a full pond liner replacement. Mastic tape is a double-sided material used with small off cuts of pond liner to repair holes (if you don’t have any off-cuts contact your pond liner supplier and ask if they can send some when you order a repair kit) to create a watertight bond. It is not suitable for repairs to PVC liners.
Enjoy your pond as we start to see Summer turn to the glorious colours of Autumn.