Caring for your pond in the winter

 

At Good Earth Water Gardens, we have many clients who winterize their ponds. But we also work with folks who keep their ponds running year-round. With Kansas City’s climate, either option can work.

If you’re running your pond through the winter, there are a few things you need to do. Follow these steps to keep your pond going in cold weather.

Know your pipes and pond filters

Most high-quality pond filters are made of rotational-molded polyethylene. They’re made to bend with the freezing and thawing of winter. This pipe is reinforced and won’t crack unless water is left in the pipe over the winter and allowed to freeze. If you keep your pump running all winter, you’ll still have a steady flow of water through the pipe. And steady water movement means no freezing.

Test the pond circulation

Pump size can determine a waterfall’s ability to run through the winter. A pump that provides at least 2,000 gallons per hour can make it through the winter as along as it runs continuously. Moving water usually ensures that there’s a hole in the ice around waterfalls and in front of the circulation system. However, back-to-back days of sub-zero temps can lead to excessive ice build-up. And that can impact your system. If the flow of water into the circulation system can’t keep up due to ice build-up, you may need to shut the system down. You can turn it back on again once the ice has melted and normal water flow returns. It’s something to watch.

Don’t let a dam stop you

Ice can create gorgeous sculptures in your pond streams and waterfalls. But it can also form dams that can divert water out of your pond. Keep an eye on your ice and your pond’s water level. If you see an ice dam forming or the water level dropping dramatically, it might be time to turn the pump off for the winter. If you decide to keep the pond running, you’ve got to make sure there’s enough water for the pump to operate. In that case …

Just add water

In the winter months, water supply can be tricky. Outdoor spigots and automatic water fill valves are turned off so the pipes don’t freeze and crack. So, you’ll have to find an alternate water source. You can run a hose from inside the house or get some exercise and make trips with a five-gallon bucket. No matter how you choose to add water, be prepared to do it regularly. It’s not uncommon to have to top off the pond a few times a month.

Keeping your pond running during the winter months can help you enjoy your water feature in new and surprising ways. You just have to keep an eye on things to ensure all is running smoothly. If you’ve got questions or want expert help, Good Earth Water Gardens is here. Give us a call at 913-749-8090 or contact us online. We’ll help your pond thrive even during the coldest days.