Water Garden Maintenance

Spring

There are many that think that gardening, no matter what the type, is primarily a Springtime hobby. Not so. Even in water gardening there are four distinct seasons. There is always something that can be done to help the pond or bog setting. All maintenance centers around the water garden itself, the water plants, the pond animals, and the pond equipment. Here we will tell about each of the categories of maintaining a water garden in the Spring.

Water Garden Maintenance
Make sure that the design of your pond is still liked, if not start to change it during this season. Scoop out the leaves and twigs and any other windblown debris that may have accumulated into the pond. Check the liner and the containers that are placed deep in the water garden that hold your plants. Keep an eye on the concrete, brick, or whatever is being used for the foundation and make changes if there are holes or decay.

Water Plant Maintenance
Take off the protective coverings that may be around the plants, cut back any old growth or dead spots in the plants. Check on the growth of the plants and see if there is the option of propagating or dividing some of the water plants to replace out in different sections of the pond.

Pond Animal Maintenance
Take a look at all the animals in the pond. Inspect the fish for disease, check on the frogs and other living creatures in the garden. Start feeding them again during this season. If there is disease or death in the pond, clean thoroughly and make sure that any new additions will not succumb to the same outcome.

Pond Equipment Maintenance
Look over all the pond equipment that you have, seeing if there is too much wear and tear on different aspects of the hardware of the pond. Make sure all the electrical is up to par for the season and clean out all the filters. Make sure that the pumps are working properly and that they are free of all debris. If the pump was turned off for the winter season, make sure that you’ve cleared it before restarting.

For Spring, keep thinking about improving what is there, renovating what isn’t working, and planning ahead for the next season. With just a little guidance you will be able to produce a beautiful water feature without too much hassle. For more information, see “Sunset Water Gardens”.

Summer

The sun is out and there is warmth all around. Perfect weather for all types of gardening. For those with a water garden, this is the busiest time of the year. Now that the pond is cleaned and restarted, with new and exciting items placed in for fun, it’s time to get down to business and really roll your sleeves up and get dirty. There are four main aspects to maintaining a water garden in the Summer, and these are broke down into the categories of water garden maintenance, water plant maintenance, pond animal maintenance, and pond equipment maintenance.

Water Garden Maintenance
Check the algae (or hopefully the lack of algae). Skim out as much of the algae as able and think about adding in “algae eating” fish types. Make sure the pond is clean and check on the water pH levels. Is it cloudy? Clear? This is the time of the year that the gardener will want the water to be near perfect for the best results all through the year. Make sure there is enough water in the pond.

Water Plant Maintenance
Cut back your water plants to remove any dead spots and clear out the weeds and debris from the earlier seasons. Summer is the prime time to cut back and remove non growing items to give way for other plants to grow. Propagate and divide any marginal water plants that are mature and ready for division. Plant these water plant plugs in other locations and spread throughout the current pond.

Pond Animal Maintenance
Summer is the main spawning time for fish, so make sure that they have cover and stillness. If there are attacks from the male fish, net off a section of pond for the female fish to take cover and support. The summer is also the best time to add new fish to the pond and to check for disease again. Using a good quality net to lift up the fish is a good way to check the fish thoroughly without too much stress or trauma for them.

Pond Equipment Maintenance
If the pond doesn’t have a filter, check to see if one is required. If the pond does have a filter, clean it thoroughly and check all the lines going to and from the pump and kit. Make sure that there is plenty of uninterrupted flow in the pond water.

These are all the items that will really need to be addressed in the summertime. Surely there is plenty more that can be done, but these are the main points that need to be stressed to keep the pond actively responding to maintenance efforts. For more information, see “Sunset Water Gardens”.


Fall

There are some gardeners who believe that gardening has only one season, Spring. Even with water or pond gardens, it is still a four season hobby. As the leaves begin to change and the plants have all started to wither, there are things that need to be done to prepare your water garden for the winter. These items are specific to the garden, plants, animals, and the equipment that the pond functions with. Basic and careful maintenance all year long can keep the pond fresh and worry free.

Water Garden Maintenance
Do any repair to the framework of the garden that may be needed. Check on the liner, the containers that house plants, separator nets that may be between schools of fish, etc. To keep large debris items from falling into the pond, place a protective net across the top of the pond area. The net holes should be just large enough to keep out leaves but allow rainfall and other smaller items to go into the pond.

Water Plant Maintenance
Any of the oxygenating plants that have reached the water’s surface will need to be trimmed back in fall. This is also a good time to trim out the dead areas in the plants. Do a thorough cleaning out of any diseased plants or those plants that aren’t thriving. Dividing up bog plants will be part of the season.

Pond Animal Maintenance
During the fall season, fish will only need to be fed by the pond owner during the warmer days. Cold days will have them not needing food. Do another seasonal check for any diseased or ill fish in the pond; again a net will be the best way to check on fish without causing undo stress. Check on both sides of the fish and check any other pond inhabitants that may be lurking in the pond.

Pond Equipment Maintenance
The only thing that is going to be needed during the fall months in regards to pond equipment is another check of electrical items, pumps, filters, and to do any necessary cleanings and repairs.
There are so many gardeners that only work toward maintaining their garden, whether it is flower or water, during the Spring and Summer seasons. Fall maintenance is crucial toward a more protective winter “storage” system. Just a few easy checks on the pond and the surrounding plants and animals will make it far easier to maintain a healthy and thriving pond. For more information, see “Sunset Water Gardens”.

Winter

Water garden maintenance is a four season hobby. Even though it may not be starting to bloom and take shape until Spring and really kick into full gear until Summer, there are still many things to be done in the fall and winter seasons too. Knowing what aspects of the pond need to be done during the winter can help keep the pond in good running order throughout the year. This helps reduce possible headaches and glitches in the water garden system that may pop up without checking on the four season maintenance schedule.

Water Garden Maintenance
Now is the time to turn off any of the fountains, running water features, water falls, etc that are focal points in the pond or water garden. These will need to be shut off until Spring, and have their components tested. If the water garden is prone to freezing a good trick is to float a few gallon milk jugs with 2/3 full of water in the pond; that way if the pond starts to freeze over these can be thrust out and allow for air and a break in the ice.

Water Plant Maintenance
Take all the water tropical plants into the house and bed them down for the winter; they won’t be coming back into the garden until Springtime. Also take the not so hardy plants and sink them deeper into the garden; they have less chance of freezing this way. This is all that will need to be done (weed, pinch off any diseased or damaged areas to the plants, and do a little deadheading if it is needed, but it really shouldn’t at this stage).

Pond Animal Maintenance
Make sure that there is a water heater, that it is turned on, and that it is working properly. This will insure the life of the fish and other pond inhabitants; as well as keeping the water from freezing. If this should fail, hopefully the milk jug trick mentioned in Water Garden Maintenance will keep the pond from serious damage.

Pond Equipment Maintenance
Keep the filters that weren’t used clean and watch for any repairs that may be needed. The pump and the filters should be in great working order.

During the Winter, the pond is basically “sleeping” but that is no reason not to keep on top of things, and to make sure that it is in fine shape to open up the Spring with. For more information, see “Sunset Water Gardens”.