Large Scale Central

Winterizing My Ponds

I normally prepare my ponds and streams for the coming winter in mid-October. Yesterday I donned my insulated chest waders and climbed into the largest of the four ponds. I spent about an hour cutting off all of the plants below the waterline and trimming back the overhanging growth around the edges. I sank the containers holding the water lilies to the deepest part of the pond. Most everything else has naturalized in place and I no longer relocate them to deeper water.

It was 92 degrees out when I climbed into the water. I don’t ever recall having temperatures this warm this late. It’s supposed to hit 94 today and I still have the three smaller ponds to do. I may forego the chest waders and just go in with swimming trunks. I will put the leaf nets in place over each pond as soon as all of the plants are trimmed. Anyone else doing their ponds yet?


Bob, not yet. I wait until the cattails and burr weed brown off. I usually forget to toss my pond defroster in before the pond freezes over, I need to try and get that in before that happens this year.

So Bob, you mentioned cutting off the plants to a point below the water line. I have what I think are Japanese Arrow plants and regular water lilies. I don’t do a thing to any of them until Spring. Then I cut off all of the dead stalks of the Arrow plant. I’ve had the plant for over ten years now and it is doing fantastic. It’s even procreated several new plants that are just growing like weeds. I do let my pump run all winter and also let my trickle feed of fresh water stay on, to benefit the fish.

What’s the reason for trimming now ?

I was told to trim the plant above the water line. This helps with the gas exchange when the pond is iced over. Of course I have a pond defroster, so my pond doesn’t completely ice over.

There seems to be more rules to pond keeping than Carter has Liver Pills. Over the twenty five years I have had a pond, the story has changed, presumably to protect the innocent. But I believe it was to protect the fibbers. LOL

Dan, yea. But once I quit testing the water and trying to adjust the Ph and salinity, I quit killing fish. So for the most part, I just make sure the water can flow through my mash back into the pond, and keep the pond topped off. Other then that I just leave it alone. The fish must be healthy, there are more of them every year.

I made a leaf cover for my pond. That’s the extent of winterizing i do.

I have great respect for those of you willing to invest all this time and effort into keeping ponds, but it’s definitely not for me. I get tired of watering the gardens by August, so I can just imagine what a pond at my house would look like. I would be better off intending to model a swamp (

I was pretty impressed with Shawn V’s pondless water feature. If I ever get a water feature installed, that will be how it is done.

Haha im with you Jon. As much as I like a water feature like a pond, I hate the maintenance. A friend of mine has one and get see and hear the maintenance and money he puts out every year. If I didnt have trees around It would be much easier. For now Im happy with my pondless waterfall. Maintenance free…

I honestly have no issues keeping up with the maintenance on my pond, its really not that much work at all.

I do admit mine is a little easier to keep up with because we have no trees in our yard, but as far as winterizing goes we just sink whatever plants haven’t been destroyed by the Koi to the bottom of the pond. Shut the waterfall down and remove the filter box.

That’s it, done.

We keep the aerators going all year for oxygen in the pond so we never touch it all winter long, when spring rolls around we put the filter box back out and turn the waterfall pump on.

The first year is usually the hardest getting the pond established with the correct ph & salt levels, but once established its just general maintenance that takes about 20 minutes a week worth of work.

Winterizing my 2 fountains/ponds is simple in San Diego. Here we winterize by closing the windows at night ha ha!

Still summer here for some reason.


Greg Elmassian said:

Winterizing my 2 fountains/ponds is simple in San Diego. Here we winterize by closing the windows at night ha ha!

Still summer here for some reason.


Rub it in Greg lol…

Money? it costs money to maintain a pond? Gee, I cant say that I spend all that much. In fact, I can’t say I have spent anything but a little in electricity to keep the pump running. The most maintenance time I spend is in the autumn, I do have to scoop out most of the leaves. The rest of the year I do very little to it.

As for winterizing, I cut back the cat tails and marsh plants when they brown off. and then before it freezes I put the pond defroster in it. Once it starts to freeze, I unplug the pump and plug in the defroster.

It’s hard to develop a pond that stays in balance… my hat is off to the people who can do it.

Did have fish in my front pond/fountain, but also inherited a big white heron who loves fish… now the pond is clean, but no fish

I’ve tried everything, sorta gave up this year and just enjoyed the waterfall and avoided looking into it. Did put some netting over it to keep out the leaves for awhile.

I gave my pond stuff to a friend. At least I think he is still my friend. (

Winterizing? For 3 1/2 weeks it just isn’t worth the bother.

As the water cools off, it clears up and I accept the praise lol.


Once I quit doing what my pond book told me to do, I stopped killing off fish. As for keeping it balance, it does that itself. But then I do have a marsh that is about 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the pond. The marsh is my all natural filter, and nature is so much better at keeping things in balance then I could ever be.

Our pond keeps itself. The plants probably do alot of filtering. The only issue I have is cleaning the muck out of the pump pit out once every two weeks in the warmer weather. And I have that down to a science. Our original pond was about five feet in diameter. Fifteen years ago we increased it’s size to about twenty five feet in length and about eight feet in width. It is an irregular shape. About eighteen inches deep. It’s much easier to keep a large pond than it is to keep a small one. I know from experience.