With spring here to stay, it’s time to give your pond some attention and ready it for the warmer weather ahead. The following maintenance jobs will not only help encourage pond life and plants to flourish but also set your pond up for the year ahead.
The first step is to de-winterise your pond. All this means is removing any measures you put in place during winter to protect your pond – including turning your pump back on and removing any insulating materials.
If you’ve got a build-up of debris on the surface of your pond (including leaves and other plant matter), start removing these with a net. If you also have lots of debris that has sunk to the bottom of your pond, use a skimmer net to remove some of the build up – but don’t take it all out! The debris causes a rise in nutrient levels and could lead to excessive algae growth in the summer but cleaning it out completely will upset the natural pH balance and also interfere with algae. Always aim for a pH of around 8.0.
Next give some attention to your pump and filter system to prepare them for the warmer weather. Thoroughly clean your filter with water, hosing off the debris, while keeping an eye out for and leaks or cracks. Make sure it is in good working order and maintains a proper flow rate.
Once your fish become active and the water becomes a stable temperature you can start feeding them again – but make sure you double check the feeding and temperature guidelines on your chosen product to ensure it is a good match.
Now onto greenery. You will want to divide and repot plants as necessary during mid-spring, as the favourable weather will encourage good initial growth. Cut back any wilted or dead foliage to ensure the pond is receiving plenty of light. You can start buying and adding new plants as the weather becomes appropriate – this will depend on the types of plant you are using – but don’t go overboard. Try to keep around half of the water surface free from vegetation, which may require you to thin out more exuberant plants.
With your pond set up for the spring, keep an eye on the water and oxygen levels and pond life will flourish!