Five important jobs to prepare your pond, its plants and creatures for the winter months

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SUMMER IS a busy time for ponds; aquatic plants will have been growing rampantly and water creatures will have been multiplying too.

Early autumn is a good time to prepare your pond for winter

Early autumn is a good time to prepare your pond for winter

After a summer of aquatic activity and growth, it’s time to tidy and prepare your pond for autumn.

By now, pond creatures will be less active and plants will have completed their spreading, flowering and seeding.

By following the simple tips here, you will give your pond the best possible chance to survive the winter and come to life again in the spring:

1: Remove excess weed to allow as much sunlight as possible into the pond. Remember to leave the removed weed on the side of the pond overnight so any creatures hidden in it can escape back into the water.

2: Remove any fallen leaves that have accumulated in the pond before they have time to break down and deoxygenate the water. Lay netting over the pond to prevent further falling leaves from getting into the water.

3: Get rid of any dead or dying plants before they sink to the bottom of the pond, where they will release poisonous gases. A few plants give off a smaller amount of gas that disperses in the air. Too many plants and the build-up can be toxic to fish and other aquatic creatures.

4: Marginal perennial plants will have grown like mad over the summer and may be threatening to take over the whole pond, so cut them back. Divide marginal plants apart from the most tender, which should be left until spring.

5: Goldfish need to build up their reserves to see them through the winter, so continue to fed them regularly. Only feed the as much as they need, as any excess will sink to the bottom and rot.