Autumn officially begins this year on September 23rd. While you may hate bidding adieu to the long, sunny days of summer, you have to face the inevitable approach of cooler, shorter days. For pond owners across the country, what you do with your pond during this seasonal transition depends largely on where you live.
In most of Canada
What a wonderful feeling during the summer months to see your plants thrive to the point of producing flowering buds almost at will, or the constant activity of growing fish that crave attention and food. Hopefully you were able to spend ample time by your pond to enjoy its many nuances and pleasures.
And now, as we turn the corner into another season, fall pondering is really just beginning. What do you have planned for your water feature? If you’re like many other water feature enthusiasts, improvements and change are always at the forefront. Here’s a few things to consider, going into the fall months. Please keep in mind that these suggestions may vary based on the zone in which you live.
Most aquatic plants are installed in the spring and early summer months however, don’t discount the beauty and maturity of the aquatic plants that may be supplied in late season by a dedicated grower. In most regions of Canada, water gardeners typically stop planting in September. As they say, “It’s never too late…” until the end of September.
If you’ve decided to plant this fall, keep in mind that most aquatic marginals prefer to be planted at 0 to 2 inches of depth. Reference the plant’s information tag for planting instructions specific to that plant.
In most Canadian climates, growing fish will begin to store massive amounts of energy. This survival process will carry them through dormancy during the approaching winter months. Furthermore, during these important months of energy consumption and storage, attention to the fish’s diet is critical. Where applicable, a low-temperature fish food should be considered. The formulation of this food will be easier for the fish to digest during these cooler days and nights. Aquascape Premium Cold Water Fish Food contains high quality protein and is specifically formulated for pond fish (including koi and goldfish) at colder water temperatures.
Water Feature Aesthetics
When was the last time you gave your water feature a face-lift? Now’s the time! A few simple improvements can have a dramatic impact on your water feature’s appearance. For example, hand select and install a few character boulders around the pond’s edge or stream. Pick up a bag or two of gravel and cover that annoying exposed liner. How about adding some extra lighting to the waterfall, pond, or stream? This is a great way to create additional nighttime interest. Aquascape’s Pond and Landscape LED Light Kit makes it easy to add lights to your water feature, and once you add lights, you extend the length of time you can enjoy your pond. This is especially important as the days grow shorter!
It’s Still Pond Season
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed your water feature as much as possible through the summer season. But remember, just because one season ends, doesn’t mean that the pond season has ended. Enjoy the changes in your pond as the seasons transition from one to the next. There’s always something new to discover in the wonderful world of water gardening.
In mild Vancouver
Unlike your neighbors in other parts of the country, fall rolls in without much fanfare. Here, you can still wear a tee-shirt some days in late fall and early winter. Even when there are cold snaps (and there are), water usually won’t freeze until late December or January.
Don’t Ignore Your Pond
In the mild Vancouver area, there’s no doubt things are still happening in your pond. Your aquatic plants, for example, should be looked at, because once the water temperature gets below 15°C, you should stop fertilizing them and continue to remove all the spent leaves from the waterlilies so they can keep producing more.
This is a good time to grab those tropical lilies and store them in a water-filled container somewhere inside so they don’t get hit by a winter frost. And don’t forget about your marginals; they could use a good pruning around this time too.
You’ll want to stop feeding your fish so they can go into hibernation. Don’t feed them too much before these temperatures hit. While feeding a healthy amount prior to the end of the season is great, overfeeding can be deadly to them. A nice low-temperature fish food, containing highly digestible food, is a good fit for fall.
If you’re not sure about your water temperature, invest in a small pond thermometer and keep checking it as the temps begin to drop. You don’t need to pack your fish up and bring them inside, as long as your pond is over two-feet deep. They’ll be just fine hanging out at the bottom of your pond. And don’t forget about how lazily your fish move around once the water starts to chill’. Unfortunately, their predators are still hungry and see fall as an opportune time to feast on fish as they slow down a bit. Make sure your decoys and motion detectors are ready to keep your fish safe.
Trees around your pond will drop leaves this time of year, so keep an eye out for them and be sure to clean out your debris baskets a few more times per week. You’ll want to keep the nutrient levels low for your fish when they decide to take a long winter’s nap.
When you aren’t taking all your fall precautions, remember that fall is a great time to work on those design ideas. It’s not too hot to spend a few weekends by the pond, and it’s not too cold to chill you out. Make your pond bigger, add some more rocks, or even work on that waterfall you’ve always wanted. Now is a great time to put all those thoughts into action. Imagine beginning the spring season with a whole new pond. Now wouldn’t that be exciting?
Enjoy the Lifestyle
No matter where you live, these special considerations should be given to your pond as summer rolls into fall. No need to be melancholy over the shortening of days. Now’s a great time to pick up a fire pit on sale to warm your bones as you relax by the pond, or add some pond and landscape lighting for cozy, cooler evenings listening to your waterfalls. You still have plenty of time to enjoy the water garden lifestyle.
For information on where to buy fall maintenance pond products, visit www.aquascapeinc.com/shop-online.
This article originally published by Aquascape