Pumps can continue to run through the Winter until ice forms to the extent that water is flowing out of the pond. The PVC pipe we use to recirculate the water is highly resistant to freezing.
If you turn the pump off in the Winter, and your pond contains fish, you must be certain to keep a thawed area in the pond so that harmful gasses can escape. This hole can be maintained with a “pond heater” that keeps a small hole from freezing or with a second small pump intended for this purpose. These products can be purchased through Meadows Farms and shipped to your home, or you can purchase them yourself. Installation is easy and very straightforward.
Many people will cover their pond with nets beginning mid-Fall when leaves start to drop. Even if your pond is not close to trees, leaves that are blowing across your yard will stop and sink when they hit water. Pond’s with skimmers can collect some of the leaves before they drop to the bottom, but the leaf basket is relatively small, and is not intended to collect the volume of leaves that can fall at this time of the year. Lightweight nylon nets will trap the leaves and not allow them to sink in the water. Optimal installation of pond nets is to keep the net suspended above the water, but even nets at water level do the job. Periodically, you will need to remove the leaves from the net or the weight of wet leaves will pull the net well down into the water. Meadows Farms can install pond nets for our hourly fee plus the cost of the net.
Fish are cold blooded animals, so when water temperatures drop in late Fall their metabolism slows greatly. Pond fish should not be fed once temperatures start getting cold. Early October is a safe cut off time to suspend feeding your fish. Even if we get occasional warm spells through the Winter, you should not begin feeding until the water warms up in mid to late April. During warm sunny days fish will come to life and come to the surface looking for food, but the cold nights dictate that their metabolism is still very slow, and food can spoil in the digestive system and kill fish.
Most ponds can benefit from a thorough cleaning in March or early April. Depending on your maintenance in the Fall, the pond clean up can be a messy, smelly chore. Meadows Farms crews are available to preform this task if you prefer. The notes at the top of the maintenance section detail the pond clean up tasks.