How To Ensure Your Fountains, Ponds and Planters Survive The Winter Weather

Posted by Marquis Gardens Team on

You have invested time and money in your outdoor pond, fountain and planters to have them look and run beautifully throughout the summer season, but as the cool weather sets in, many of us are looking to escape to the warmth of indoors. Before you do, there are a few key tips to protect and maintain the beauty of these pieces over the winter months and have them last for years to come!

Ponds

Ponds can transform any backyard into an oasis. The running water, fish and plants attract all sorts of attention. Now that the winter season is approaching, we must perform a few simple tasks to maintain the beauty and health of our ponds.

pond winterizing, how to survive winter
Pond Winterizing: Do’s and Don’ts
Do: Cover your pond with protective pond netting before the autumn leaves begin to fall
Don’t: Allow debris to build up and decompose at the bottom of the pond. This creates more work in the spring and can create a build-up of harmful gases that are unsafe for fish
Do: Change to a fall/winter food for pond fish and koi once the water temperature has reached 55°F (12°C)
Don’t: Feed fish at all once the temperature has reached an average of 45°F (7°C), as the fish can no longer digest food at this temperature
Do: Cut back all perennial marginal plants and hardy lilies. Dispose of any floating tropical plants
Don’t: Leave tropical plants in the pond - bring indoors and treat as house plants
Do: Bring indoors and clean all pumps and filters before the water begins to freeze
Don’t: Pump out pond water or empty pond if it is below grade level-this is unnecessary and can lead to parts of the pond collapsing in
Do: Keep submersible pumps in a container of water to keep the seals moist throughout the winter months
Don’t: Add antifreeze to pumps over winter as this may cause damage
Do: Run an aerator to keep oxygen levels up in the cooler months. Move air stones to half the depth of the pond or 2’ from the bottom for the winter
Don’t: Keep air stones near the fish at the bottom of the pond or run a heavy flow pump as this will transfer cooler air and water to where the fish are.
Do: Use a stainless steel de-icer (300 watt- water to where the fish are. low energy consumption), to create a small opening in the ice to allow for proper gas exchange in the winter
Don’t: Create a hole by breaking the ice, as this will cause stress to the fish
Pond winterizing, Aquascape Pond de-icer
Laguna Pruning Tool, Pond Winterizing
Winterizing Pond Infographic

Fountains

Fountains are a sight to behold in the summer months. Come winter, most people fear cracking or cover with them with large blue tarps that stand out like a sore thumb. We have a few suggestions that will have your fountain keep its splendour all year round!

Campania Fountain Cover
Prep your fountain and it could last you a lifetime!

WINTER FROST: Before winter or first frost, fountains should be raised off of the ground surface with risers to prevent it from soaking up moisture and freezing, which could cause crumbling on the bottom of the piece.

WINTER PROTECTION: Remove all pumps, plugs, and small components from the fountain and store indoors. All water must be drained from the fountain. Ensure water does not accumulate in the basin or any bowl and freeze as this may cause cracking. Campania covers may be used once the fountain is cleaned and free of water, as they are one way breathable (allow trapped moisture out, but rain and dust cannot enter) and come in a neutral tone that blends into any landscape. If the piece permits, it may be stored indoors

SALT & CHEMICAL: Ensure your fountain is kept clear from harsh salts and chemicals, as these may damage the stains and/or concrete.

Planters

Create Year-long Interest with planters!

Your planters that were once blossoming and vibrant in the summer are now beginning to look spent as the cold weather sets in. If you are like us, you want your planters to be used year-round and are looking forward to decorating the planters for the winter season. This can be done safely avoiding winter damage with the following tips:

DRAINAGE: The key to winter success for concrete planters is drainage. Planters should be raised off of the ground or patio using small lifts or decorative risers to help with drainage and to avoid frost damage. We recommend using a ¾ or larger gravel in the bottom of the planter - fill approximately 2/3 full with the gravel. Next, place a piece of filter cloth on the gravel to prevent soil from draining through. Finally, place a planted arrangement on top or fill the remaining space with soil and decorate accordingly. You can keep this same soil/gravel setup all season long. Ensure there are drainage holes in all outdoor planters

SALT/CHEMICALS: Salt is great for keeping pathways clear of ice; however, it is not great when it comes in contact with concrete planters. Keep all salt and harsh chemicals away from concrete planters as they will cause damage.

**Remember**

Trapped Water in Any Planter, Once Frozen, Will Expand and May Cause Damage

Concrete Planter
Planter Raisers, Lifts, Feets

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