Thursday, November 10, 2011

Prepare Water Gardens for Winter


As frost begins to nip at our gardens, it's time to think about winterizing ponds and other water features. The experts at TetraPond, a water-garden supplier in Blacksburg, Virginia, offer the following tips:

Cut back lilies and other deep-water plants to about one inch above the tip. Replace soil and gravel, as needed. To prevent rot, be sure not to cover the plants' crowns.

Move plants to deeper water if you live in a climate where ponds freeze.

■Cut back all growth on bog plants surrounding your pond and mulch with 6 inches of straw.

■Place tender floating plants like water hyacinth in a 3-inch water-filled tray and move them to a frost-free shed or greenhouse.

■When temperatures drop and fish spend most of their time on the bottom of the pond, stop feeding them.

■To reduce next spring's chores, clean out leaves and twigs that fall into the pond and remove as much duckweed as possible. You may want to buy a pond netting to aid in the leaf removal.

■If you don't already have a de-icer or bubble airater, buy one now to keep a small area of the pond ice-free. This will help your fish survive by creating a spot for harmful gasses to escape.

■Turn off filters, (other than fall boxes and skimmers; these can remain running.), then clean them and store them inside.

*Check out Ken's Landscape Designs website store for products.