It’s fall. The season brings relief from the heat of summer. Leaves change colors. Other plants start to go dormant. For those that own a pond, fall brings a new perspective and a new maintenance opportunity. This season is prime to complete some annual maintenance items on your backyard pond since fish and plant life are already slowing down. Plus, the cooler (but not too cold) temperatures make this the ideal time to work outside.
It is often recommended that pond owners change the water in their pond each fall before the weather starts getting too cold. If there are fish and plants in the pond, these might need to be brought indoors before the winter. But with all of this work, you can still find time to enjoy your pond. Simply follow three cardinal rules:
- Use the right tools for the job
- Understand what your fish and plants need
- Use the mild weather to your advantage
The Right Tools for the Job
Knowing what water gardening products to use during the fall will be a big help in getting your maintenance tasks done quickly and easily. Use a pond vacuum or pond netting to keep falling leaves and other debris out of the water (and out of your pond pumps and pond filters). Consider installing a water thermometer so that you can monitor the actual temperature of your pond, rather than relying on air temperatures.
Know What Fish and Plants Need
As the temperature drops, fish and plants will need less care. When water temperatures drop below 50 degrees, many types of fish stop eating and enter a slower hibernation-like state. Don’t make more work for yourself by continuing to feed fish unnecessarily! This only creates more waste for pond filters to clean up. Plus, it can damage your fishes’ digestive tracks and make them sick.
Take Advantage of Mild Weather
The mild weather of fall is the perfect environment to change out pond water with little impact on fish and plants. But more than that, the mild weather allows ample opportunity to enjoy your pond in the evenings before the days are too short and the temperature too low. Spend some time in the evenings, sitting around your pond with your family, perhaps enjoying a few picnic dinners before winter.