Now that summer has gone fall is here and the threat of snow is right around the corner what do we do to get the farm pond ready for winter?
Wait a minute, what summer, how was your summer? Ours lasted about 3 days in a row with 80 plus degrees, dodging rain storms and cold fronts. It seemed spring did not want to let go and held on as long as it could. Then before you know it we saw the leaves changing, so fall wanted to get an early start. Summer just got beat up and wasn’t able to prosper as it should. But hey saved on air conditioning, the need to water the garden and plants, the farm pond stayed full of water and there was a couple weekends with no rain that gave us a chance to build another small farm pond. So let’s get ready for winter, there nothing we can do now to change the weather. And look on the positive side that next year can only be better.
Getting the farm pond ready for winter is mostly bringing in all the bench’s, fountains and ornaments that accent the pond throughout the nicer months. Last year winter jumped in too soon and the floating dock ended up frozen in the pond so I thought it’s too early for winter I’ll just wait till it thaws and then pull it out. Yeah right… We got a lake effect snow storm and ended up with 2 feet of heavy wet snow it did melt off and got the dock out and put away.
Along with the dock there are other features that get moved in, like the wooden bench, wood light house, fountains to keep from freezing, and most important to move the aerator to shallow water. We moved ours to under the new deck we built over the pond this year.
Take the time to walk around the pond with a rake and find deposits of leaves, hopefully at one side or end of the pond and rake them out, cut down the cattails and remove dead leaves from other aquatic plants. All of the dead decaying materials will remove oxygen from the water and turn into food for next spring’s string algae growth.
Be sure to check on the overflow pipe’s trash screen to be clear of any debris and check out the emergency spill way for any erosion or being plugged by leaves and branches. Never screen the spill way, it is better to lose a few fish than to lose the dam.
When the water starts to cool below 60 degrees stop feeding the Koi fish, actually they should sort of stop themselves as ours do but they are getting ready for their winter slowdown and should not have any food in their tummies. In the state of their slow down they are in sort of a hibernation mode and any food in their tummies can become toxic and seriously harm or kill the Koi fish.