How to maintain your container ponds in Autumn and Winter

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Looking after your container ponds in Autumn and Winter is critical in how they will perform next year.

Container ponds in Autumn:

  • Keep the water level in the container just below the level of the rim. Check the level after any Autumn rain or Winter snow.

Regular maintenance in Autumn is particularly important for the smaller pond and patio container pond. You can accumulate significant amounts of rotting vegetation in a small volume of water.

  • Doing these 5 tasks will reduce the chances of sludge on the container pond base:
    • Remove tree leaves that fall into the pond water.
    • Trim back the plant foliage so that tall upright plants will not drop their leaf into the water. Leave them cut 4" above the water level.
    • Remove some of the rafting plant growth. Control excess spread and allow more light into the pond water in Winter.
    • Leave all oxygenating plants in place for now and thin out in Spring if you have more than 1/3rd of the volume filled with them then.
    • If necessary use Mud Muncher to digest the sludge.
  • Stop adding Barley Bio Algae Control once the clocks change in October but resume adding fortnightly again when the days brighten in Spring.
  • Manage your container pond like this and never need to throw out the water and start afresh.

Container ponds in Winter:

  • Leave plants in the pond at the correct depths during Winter.
  • Keep water in the pond over Winter.
  • Make sure the water level is below the slanting edge of the rim in freezing temperatures so there is room for the water to turn to ice. It will go up into the space under the rim and not force itself outward against the walls of the container.
  • The surface few cm/inches of the container pond can freeze over without harm to the plants or damage to the container.
  • If you are in a very cold area or anticipate a cold spell of weather wrap the container in fleece or bubble wrap for protection or drop a 'pop up' greenhouse over the whole mini pond.
  • Avoid the whole container freezing solid to protect the waterlilies you may have.
  • Miniature or dwarf waterlilies will not thrive if they are trapped in frozen solid conditions. The rhizome is hardy when protected in water but not when trapped in ice.
Winter in our container pond

Winter in our container pond

Follow this advice for your container ponds in Autumn and Winter and it should come back to life as the weather warms next Spring.

Don't forget to start Barley Bio Algae Control again in Spring when the clocks change again.