By Adam Woodhams
At this time of year, in all but the northern most parts of the country, your garden and pond are in a state that’s pretty close to hibernation. The metabolisms of plants and animals are ticking over almost in slow motion and their demands for nutrients – food – are very low.
It may sound like an odd thing to say but right now is the time to ‘spring clean’ your pond or water feature or, perhaps more accurately, prepare your feature for spring.
Just a little basic maintenance work now will ensure your feature is picture perfect, and trouble free, come spring.
If you haven’t done so already then tidy up your pond plants removing dead or raggedy looking foliage and any spent flowers. If your plants are in pots, you may find it easier to lift them from the pond to do this. Just make sure they don’t dry out while out of the pond.
If plants have outgrown their pots or position in the pond now’s a good time to divide them too. When it comes time to replant use PondMAX planting baskets. They have been purpose designed to optimise pond plant performance.
With microbial activity low fallen autumn leaves that remain in your pond can breakdown to sludge that impacts water quality and clarity. This can very rapidly turn to cloudy water and algal outbreaks as soon as the weather warms up.
The problem is easy enough to avoid – remove material before it becomes a problem. For finer material a PondMAX Pro Pond Vacuum head which easily attaches to your garden hose is the quick and easy way to remove unwanted waste including build-up of fish waste. For bulkier material you may need to use a PondMAX Stainless Steel Scoop Net first.
For larger ponds consider investing in a professional level cleaning unit, the PondMAX PV350L Pro Pond Vacuum.
Over time waterfalls, bowls and spillways can become somewhat unsightly from the build-up of organic debris. Now is the ideal time to be giving all surfaces a good clean and PondMAX CleanMAX Oxy Pond Clear makes that easy. It will strip away this built-up material simply and easily.
After cleaning surfaces it’s a great time to replace some of your pond water. Remove around 25% in total of the pond water and then slowly add new water back in. As you do so add an appropriate dose of PondMAX Pond Water Treatment & Conditioner to remove any harmful chemicals from the tap water and help protect your fish from stress.
Once topped back up add a dose of PondMAX BactiMAX+. These beneficial bacteria and enzymes will remove a range of chemicals, such as ammonia and nitrates, from pond water and help to keep the water crystal clear. This can be supplemented with regular applications of PondMAX Pond Clarifier Bacteria to help keep the good bugs in balance.
Lift your pump, take it apart and give all of the parts a good clean. Check for any damage to areas such as impeller blades and replace if needed. If you have a UV water clarifier check the indicator light and replace the globe if needed.