Are you ready to get your pond started up for another beautiful spring and summer? It can be a big job to rejuvenate such a large water feature so it remains balanced and healthy after a long, harsh winter, but with a few careful steps, your pond can be back in shape in no time.
When to Reopen Your Pond
It is important that you don’t try to get your pond started too early in the season. All risk of hard freezes should be long past, and even nightly frosts should be tapering off or already finished before you restart your pond. The exact time will vary based on your pond’s size, depth and location, as well as your ambient weather conditions and the pond’s overall ecology. For example, a smaller, shallower pond in a sunny area will be warmed up and ready to restart before a larger, deeper pond in a shady spot. It can be helpful to keep a journal or calendar from year to year to note when you reopened your pond and how successful your efforts were. In time, you’ll be able to adjust your calendar easily without risking the health and wellness of your pond, even if annual conditions change.
Easy Steps to Restart Your Pond
When you are ready to jump start your pond…
- Remove the netting that was set in place last fall. If needed, clean and make repairs to the netting right away so it will be ready to use next fall. Store it safely where it will be easy to reach when needed again.
- Remove excess sediment from the bottom of the pond with a vacuum or a net. It is not necessary to remove every bit of sediment, but most of the debris should be removed so the pump can function effectively.
- Test last year’s pump and replace if necessary. Be sure to test any additional moving or electrical features, such as waterfalls, fountains or lighting around the pond so repairs can be made if needed.
- If water level is low, add fresh water to desired height. Avoid overfilling the pond, however, which can disrupt the essential chemical and microbial balance that keeps the pond healthy.
- Add de-chlorinator as necessary to remove heavy chemicals from the water that has been freshly added to the pond. As with any chemical treatments, be sure to test the water several times to be sure you reach the proper balance.
- Place aquatic plants in the pond and begin fertilizing to meet their nutritional needs. These may be plants that you’ve overwintered in a safe location, or you may choose to add new or exotic plants in late spring.
- Begin feeding fish when water temperature stays above 55 degrees. Keep feedings minimal at first as fish come out of dormancy, as excess food will only rot and lead to greater bacteria and algae growth in the water.
It is perfectly natural for your pond water to turn green at first, but with the proper plants it should balance itself out in no time. It may take a few days or even a couple of weeks for your pond to return to its healthy, active state, but if you’re restarted it properly, you shouldn’t have any major problems.