Carter's Water Garden


How Do I Clean My Water Garden | Koi Pond | Carters Nursery & Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

I know Spring is upon us! I got 2 calls back to back today asking about Pond Cleaning! We are at the beginning of “Pond Cleaning Season” here at Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio! From daylight to dark for the next month or two we will be splitting Aquatic Plants, Potting Aquatic Plants, Catching & Culling Fish, Replacing Filter Pads, Draining and Rinsing Ponds, Touching up stone work and Gravel, etc. etc. One of the biggest questions I’m getting from new Pond Owners is “How do I clean my Water Garden”?

I have blogged on this subject before, but I know refreshers are helpful so here is a short list of Tools & Pond Supplies that you will need while performing your Pond/Water Garden Clean-out if you do it yourself…

1st. have ALL your tools and supplies needed on site and ready –

1. Fish Nets – Before you drain your pond for the spring clean-out, you’ll need to catch and relocate your fish. Purchasing a good quality net means doing this without injuring your fish during the catch and release.

2. Planting Pots – Spring clean-out is a great time to thin and divide plants that have grown out of bounds or crowded a pot. Make sure you have some aquatic plant pots & aquatic plant soil handy so you can re-pot and share your new plants with other water gardeners.

3. Extra Gravel – After the freeze and thaw of winter, you’ll inevitably find rocks and gravel that have shifted, exposing bare liner. With an extra bag or two of gravel, you can cover exposed liner in a jiffy.

4. Aquatic Plant Fertilizer – Take advantage of the water-free accessibility of water lilies, lotus, and other plants that may need to be fertilized, by having a container of aquatic plant fertilizer tabs on hand when you’re doing your pond clean-out.

5. Container for Plant Debris – Grab an old plastic plant pot or bucket so you can easily dispose of any debris that you gather from the pond bottom or from dead plant matter.

6. Rubber Gloves and Boots – Spring clean-outs can be cold, wet, and messy. Arming yourself with boots and gloves will go a long way toward making this chore much less unpleasant.

7. Fish Container – A large tub or tank will be needed so you can have a roomy place to keep your fish during the clean-out. Use water from the pond to fill the tank and use a small fountain pump or aerator to re-circulate  the water.

8. Net to Cover the Fish Container – Fish, especially large Koi, jump, and they may very well jump right out of the container that you have set up for them. Be sure to cover it with a net that is pulled tight across the container to prevent them from jumping 🐬

9. Pump and Discharge Pipe – To drain the water out of the pond, you will need a pump and some discharge pipe. It’s OK to use your pond pump, but even better if you have an extra pump to lessen the wear and tare on your pond pump. About 2,000 GPH, depending on the size of your pond, will do the trick.

A cleanout pump and flexible discharge hose are very important tools to have. We sell complete Clean Out Pump Kits at Carters Nursery Pond & Patio | How Do I Clean My Water Garden | Koi Pond | Carters Nursery & Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

10. High Pressure Nozzle – Use a pressure nozzle on your garden hose to dislodge debris and algae from the rocks.

11. Pond Detox – Always detox the newly filled pond before you put the fish back in.

12. Expanding Foam – Expanding foam may need a bit of a touch up in some areas. Be prepared with a can of it just in case.

13. New Filter Mats – Filter mats should be replaced approximately every 3 years. If you think it might be time, be prepared by purchasing replacements prior to your clean-out.

14. Pruners – Part of a spring clean-out is pruning back dead plant material from the previous season. Make sure you have a good pair of pruners and/or scissors to get the job done.

15. Plastic Rake – You can rake the leaves right out of your pond with a small plastic (child’s) rake. The plastic lessens the chance of damaging the liner and the small size makes it easier to maneuver in tight spots than an adult size rake.

After the Water Feature and Filtration System is thoroughly cleaned and the Pond re-filled, turn on the pump and add detox to the water by label instructions. I like to run the pump for a little while before we start reintroducing the fish. Then start adding fresh Cold Temperature Bacteria to the Pond daily to get the system up and running right. A Good Spring Clean-out is the KEY to a GREAT season.

Start adding Cold Water Bacteria to your newly cleaned pond right away! Crystal Clear Water will be your reward. | How Do I Clean My Water Garden | Koi Pond | Carters Nursery & Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

It’s time to get ready for Spring!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com

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Pond Tips | Pond Tip Tuesday | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN


The days are getting longer! Spring approachith… Soon it will be time to start our pond maintenance crews to doing the yearly work of cleaning Ponds & Water Gardens for the season. People are already calling in to get their names on our maintenance list to insure they get their Ponds Serviced for the season! Its always exciting to get ready for another great year with our Koi Ponds and Water Gardens, and a proper Late Winter/Early Spring Pond Cleaning is the key to success!

if you want clean, clear water and healthy Koi, a good Spring Cleaning is paramount! Spring is coming quick!

To clean your Water Feature correctly, First pump clean water from your Pond into appropriate holding tanks, then capture & place your fish in the tanks. Then,  trim plants & clean debris, straiten & touch up rocks & gravel, break down and thoroughly clean all filters & flush and thoroughly wash the pond down well before refilling. Don’t forget to dose the new water with Pond detox! Very important!

Always, always, always detoxify your pond after a clean-out! We carry this product in stock at the Pond Shop at Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio. Get a bottle BEFORE your cleanout 😊

After the Water Feature is thoroughly cleaned, re-filled, detoxed and running, carefully place the fish back in the pond & start adding fresh Cold Temperature Bacteria to the Pond to get the system up and running correctly.

After a clean-out , we recommend you start adding Beneficial Cold Water Bacteria right away. Add by label instructions and after you have used the full bottle of Cold Water Formula, it will probably be time to switch over to regular Beneficial Bacteria. Get all your Water Feature Treatments at Carters Nursery.

We clean a LOT of Water Features for our Clients. But many do their own clean out.

For the all the DIY’s out there, here’s a little checklist to help you be ready. My experience has taught me that projects of any type benefit from advanced planning. Having all the necessary supplies on hand before you get started always makes it go faster and easier.

HELPFUL TIP: it’s good planning to get your Aquatic Plant fertilizer tabs now, BEFORE draining your pond and then realizing you should have got them when you bought your low temp bacteria and dechlorinator. This keeps you from running to the store in the middle of your clean-out (which can mean a whole day of work instead of a half day) and it allows you to fertilize your plants while the pond is drained instead of later when the pond is full again.

Planning ahead a little just means you can spend less time working on your pond and more time ENJOYING it!

1. Fish Nets – Before you drain your pond for the spring clean-out, you’ll need to catch and relocate your fish. Purchasing a good quality net means doing this without injuring your fish during the catch and release.

2. Planting Pots – Spring clean-out is a great time to thin and divide plants that have grown out of bounds or crowded a pot. Make sure you have some aquatic plant pots & aquatic plant soil handy so you can re-pot and share your new plants with other water gardeners.

3. Extra Gravel – After the freeze and thaw of winter, you’ll inevitably find rocks and gravel that have shifted, exposing bare liner. With an extra bag or two of gravel, you can cover exposed liner in a jiffy.

4. Aquatic Plant Fertilizer – Take advantage of the water-free accessibility of water lilies, lotus, and other plants that may need to be fertilized, by having a container of aquatic plant fertilizer tabs on hand when you’re doing your pond clean-out.

5. Container for Plant Debris – Grab an old plastic plant pot or bucket so you can easily dispose of any debris that you gather from the pond bottom or from dead plant matter.

6. Rubber Gloves and Boots – Spring clean-outs can be cold, wet, and messy. Arming yourself with boots and gloves will go a long way toward making this chore much less unpleasant.

7. Fish Container – A large tub or tank will be needed so you can have a roomy place to keep your fish during the clean-out. Use water from the pond to fill the tank and use a small fountain pump to re-circulate the water.

8. Net to Cover the Fish Container – Fish, especially large Koi, jump, and they may very well jump right out of the container that you have set up for them. Be sure to cover it with a net that is pulled tight across the container to prevent them from jumping.

9. Pump and Discharge Pipe – To drain the water out of the pond, you will need a pump and some discharge pipe. It’s OK to use your pond pump, but even better if you have an extra pump to lessen the wear and tare on your pond pump. About 2,000 GPH, depending on the size of your pond, will do the trick.

10. High Pressure Nozzle – Use a pressure nozzle on your garden hose to dislodge debris and algae from the rocks.

11. Pond Detox – Always detox the newly filled pond before you put the fish back in.

12. Expanding Foam – Expanding foam may need a bit of a touch up in some areas. Be prepared with a can of it just in case.

13. New Filter Mats – Filter mats should be replaced approximately every 3 years. If you think it might be time, be prepared by purchasing replacements prior to your clean-out.

14. Pruners – Part of a spring clean-out is pruning back dead plant material from the previous season. Make sure you have a good pair of pruners and/or scissors to get the job done.

15. Plastic Rake – You can rake the leaves right out of your pond with a small plastic (child’s) rake. The plastic lessens the chance of damaging the liner and the small size makes it easier to maneuver in tight spots than an adult size rake.

With a little work you will be ready for a Great outdoor season.

It won’t be long now! Spring is Coming!

Have a great day!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com

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Leaf Cleanup 🍁 To Compost Pile

I have been asked a few times on the radio lately about composting, so I went back in the archives and pulled this up. This was 1st published 10 years ago – To the day!
A big blowing storm is coming thru tonight, ie; A leaf stripper! Plenty to get ya’ started

“Fall is one of my Favorite seasons! Cooler weather, fall planting and gardening and all the great family gatherings and food are wonderful. Fall is also a GREAT time to start a compost pile. All those leaves, plants and grasses to cut back and all of the upcoming holiday food scraps add up too a great supply of usable components in a compost pile!
Starting a Compost pile is quick , easy and won’t cost you anything to get started! Compost is one of nature’s best mulches and soil amendments and you can use it instead of chemical fertilizers. Compost improves soil structure, texture and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity. Compost loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils to retain water. The organic matter in compost provides food for microorganisms, which in turn keeps the soil in a healthy, balanced condition. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are produced naturally by the feeding of microorganisms, so few if any soil amendments will need to be added.

Once the process is complete you can use this free resource as mulch, soil amendments, top dressing for your lawn, to make compost tea for veggies & more. | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

It’s easy to get started .

-Bag your grass clippings and mulch up all those leaves for the compost pile!

-Save those kitchen scraps and add them to the compost pile. Kitchen scraps are typically high in nitrogen, which helps heat up the compost pile and speed up the composting process. Egg shells, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels and scraps are good candidates for the compost pie. But DON’T add meat, grease or other animal products!

– With a compost pile, bigger is often better. Heat builds up with a bigger pile, but you don’t want to get much bigger than about 3 feet by 3 feet, if it’s too big it can be hard to work around. Multiple piles may be in order .

– Aerate your compost! If you are composting with a pile, or in a static (non-tumbling) compost bin, be sure to mix up the contents so that the pile gets oxygen and can break down effectively. Insert a few pvc pipes to get oxygen to the core and Turn it with a pitch fork from time to time .

– Don’t let the compost completely dry out. A compost pile needs moisture to keep the composting process active , BUT , don’t keep it too wet.

– Too much of any one material will slow down the composting process. If you have all leaves, all grass clippings or an overload of any other single type of material, it can throw off the balance of the pile. It’s best to keep a balanced mix of green (nitrogen) and brown (carbon) materials.

When ready, this compost will be wonderful for the whole garden!

Good Luck and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!”


Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
http://www.cartercountry.com

YouTube pg. –
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6dPkQiE04jcr385SOL0gkw

Facebook pg. – https://www.facebook.com/mark.carter.775

Pinterest pg. – https://www.pinterest.com/cartersnursery