Twelve Tips for Preparing Your Water Feature for Fall

stone water fall feature with landscape pond surrounded by ferns and softscape

Having a water feature as a part of your landscape design means you have a place to relax and unwind at the end of a long day. This landscaping element is a great way to make the most of your landscape. However, like any aspect of your landscape, there steps that must be taken to keep it looking its best.

While spring and summer do not require a significant amount of work, there are some specific water feature maintenance tasks that are particular to the onset of cooler weather.

Fall Water Feature Maintenance

As fall, and ultimately winter, approach it is important that you set aside some time to prepare your water feature for the season. The steps taken will vary whether you have a pond or a water feature such as a fountain, but regardless, maintenance is important.

Pond Maintenance

  1. Take time to empty out the debris basket every day. If you leave an excess amount of organic matter in the water it will cause the water to turn brown.
  2. If you have pond netting, then now is the time to remove it. Along with netting, if you have a fountain as part of your water feature, you will want to disconnect the pump and check the valves to allow water to drain from it. Make a note of pieces that might need to be replaced.
  3. Lower the pond’s water level to below the opening of the skimmer.
  4. Trim back aquatic plants If your plants are in pots, move the pots to the bottom of the pond to protect them from cold temperatures.
  5. Add a water treatment designed to protect your pond against cold weather bacteria.
  6. Check the liner for any cracks or tears that can lead to water seepages. (Ideally, you should do this on a regular basis as a low water level can be damaging to your pump.)

Fountain Maintenance

  1. As with a manmade pond, fountains will have a pump. It is the pump that keeps the fountain working smoothly and looking beautiful. As fall approaches, be sure to clean the pump thoroughly. For a basic yet effective cleaning agent, look no further than the white vinegar available at any grocery or big box store.
  2. Add some algaecide to the water to prevent-or eliminate- any algae from being a part of your fountain. Another option is to use distilled water in fountain.
  3. Clean out any debris that may have gathered in the fountain.
  4. If you have hard water, then it will cause a white build-up known as white scale. This can be easily removed by rubbing the affected area with white vinegar. For ongoing prevention of white scale, add a fountain cleanser product to the water.
  5. Because our winters are mild in comparison to other parts of the country, it is not a must to turn off the pump. In fact, keeping it running will extend the life of the pump. However, do be sure that the water level ensures that the pump is fully submerged.
  6. In the event that excessively cold weather is in the forecast, you can cover the fountain with a tarp to protect it.

Marinating your water feature doesn’t have to be difficult or extremely time-consuming. Take these basic steps and you can enjoy your fountain or pond for years to come. If you have questions, talk to one of the pros at Outdoor Makeover & Living Spaces.


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