Garden ponds should not be forgotten about during the cold winter months. January and February are generally the coldest months of the year in the UK and the best time of the year to carry out pond maintenance checks (provided your pond hasn’t frozen over!). Flexible pond liners should also be checked and repaired if you have noticed a significant drop in water levels. Dress-up warm and get outdoors – both you and your pond will benefit from getting outdoors and being active.
January garden pond maintenance
- Defrost pond – If your pond has frozen over and remains so for lengthy periods it is likely that fish are getting insufficient levels of oxygen and harmful gases aren’t able to escape thereby having a negative impact on the water quality. To prevent this happening either use a pond heater or fill a long handled pot with hot water and places it on the ice to defrost a large enough area to allow for the natural process of gas exchange so fish stay happy and water quality remains healthy. Bashing the ice will send shock waves through the water and harm your fish – so avoid the method of defrosting your pond.
- Remove sludge and Autumn debris – during the cold winter months the decomposition of debris at the bottom of your pond is very slow and therefore it won’t have much of a negative impact on water quality, however if it remains at the bottom of your pond as we move into Spring, the rate of breakdown of organic matter increases significantly. So, before this happens either use a pond vacuum or a net to remove debris.
- Pond pump maintenance – remove your pond pump and give it a thorough clean including hosing-out debris from the streamer cage.
These are not particularly time consuming tasks and if carried out in January they will save you a lot of stress in the Spring and Summer months leaving you more time to enjoy the tranquility and abundance of wildlife your pond attracts.