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Preparing Your Pond for Winter

By: Robert McKay, Gardener, Pond Specialist Certified Koi Keeper | 10/08/2018

Getting Your Pond Ready for Winter

As we approach late October, the nighttime temperatures dance around freezing and the daytime temperatures struggle to get out of the 50-degree mark; it is time to put our ponds to bed for the winter.

For those with fish, goldfish, Koi or otherwise, you will notice that appetites of the fish have reduced since the last bit of September. The normal diet for the fish should be gradually migrated to a transition food and then finally to a halt of food as the water temperature reaches a consistent 55° F and below.

Preparing your pond for winter includes cleaning filters, getting easily removed material out of the pond, and (if needed) using an additive to help break down material during the winter. A cover, a net, or an insulating blanket is also an option to reduce heat loss if heating the pond and to keep unwanted material out of the pond.

Tender pond plants should be removed and stored, and hardy pond plants dropped deeper into the pond for protection.

If the pond or water feature will not run during the winter, pumps should be drained and winterized, piping that can be drained should be. It is an excellent time to clean waterways if dry. These waterways will fill up again during the winter and your spring cleanup will be much easier.

You may contact the Garden for more specific answers to your pond and Koi questions or we recommend contacting the Idaho Water Garden and Koi Society for more information.