Carter’s Garden Blog


Winter ready Checklist!

I post this every year, it’s very important to be prepared for Winter! I hope this helps…

PLANTS AND DEBRIS:
Remove plant debris and other organic matter. Excess organic matter can contribute to increased algae growth. A large amount of leaves collected in the bottom of your pond will decompose and produce tannins. This can be harmful to your fish and reduce water clarity. Leaves can also collect in the stream and cause a plant dam. It is very important to keep your skimmer net cleaned out regularly during the heavy leaf fall, DAILY if needed. Pond netting which can be purchased at Carter’s Nursery can make these things less problematic and will make it easier on you during the winter.

HEALTHY FISH:
When water temperatures reach 55 degrees F, stop feeding your fish or start using Low Temp fish food. (Available at Carter’s Nursery) At these temperatures, their metabolism slows down and eating normal food can make them sick or even cause death. You should always end their feeding cycle with LOW TEMP OR ANTIBIOTIC FISH FOOD.

WINTER BEAUTY:
Leaving your waterfall running all winter will not hurt anything. As matter of fact, it could give you some beautiful photo op’s. The running water will make some breath taking natural ice sculptures. So keep your camera handy. And get some close ups. But be sure to watch out for ice dams. These can cause your pond to lose some excessive amounts of water.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER break the ice by banging on it!It can cause your fish great harm – it can even KILL them! To allow the escape/exchange of gasses in a frozen over pond, keep a hole open in the ice. This is IMPORTANT!!! It will keep the gases from building up under the ice and allow for oxygen exchange and keep your fish from suffocating. This will also allow the pump to get water if the surface is frozen. If you have a skimmer, this will be MUCH easier on you! The water movement will help keep the ice from forming. You may need to keep the hole open by adding water from a water hose, bucket or pan of water. (If you use your water hose be sure to drain it when finished-to keep it from freezing and bursting, or keep it in your garage). You can also use a floating heater or a small pump in a shallow area to “flash up’ and break the water surface.

LOW TEMP. BACTERIA:
Use Low Temp bacteria treatments when the water reaches 55 degrees F. This will help keep the pond clean, keep the water healthy and make your Spring pond clean out much easier.

I hope this helps! I enjoy the winter, it is really a great season! So many birds visit the Pond to drink and eat, it’s a wonderful time to do all my garden planning and I know that Spring is right around the corner!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! & HAPPY NEW YEAR!
~ Mark Carter

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