Waterfalls, ponds, lilies, koi and fountains are just a few items you will find at Bradford Greenhouses Garden Gallery. With a complete line of pond supplies, Bradford Greenhouse Garden Gallery makes it easy to create the perfect water garden. Allow one of our expert staff members to assist you in creating a fully customizable water garden based on your needs. At Bradford Greenhouses Garden Gallery we make creating a water garden easy. From measuring your size of liner, to determine the size of a pump needed, Bradford Greenhouses Garden Gallery is your answer.
Monthly Pond Tips
Spring Start-Up (April or May)
- Clean out any leaves and debris that may have fallen into your pond.
- Cleanup marginal plants and remove any dead growth.
- Top up your pond (if you partially drained it for the winter). If you have fish or are planning on putting fish in your pond, make sure you use Laguna’s Water Prep or PondCare’s Stress Coat. Both of these products will eliminate chlorine and chloramine in the water as well as neutralize any heavy metals. These products will also help protect the mucus membrane on your fish.
- Hook up your pump and filter. Replace filter pads and biological material in your filter (if needed).
- Add beneficial bacteria to jump start your biological filter. Bio Booster by Laguna is a great product for this.
- Now is a good time to add barley straw (in straw or pellet form) to your pond. Barley straw is a safe and natural way to help eliminate unwanted algae.
- You should start feeding your fish when they become active and the temperature of the water is approximately 47 degrees F.
- While the water temperature is low, it is recommended that you feed your fish with a spring and fall fish food that contains Spirulina and Wheat Germ.
- You may add fish as long as you acclimatize them to your water. First let them float in the bag for 15-20 minutes and then put them in the pond using your hand or a net. Do not add the water from the bag to your pond. Remember to use Water Prep or Stress Coat when adding new fish.
- You may put hardy marginal plants in your pond but remember to protect them from frost. Now is a good time to add hardy oxygenating plants as well.
For a list of products to help ensure your spring start-up runs smoothly, please click here.
June through July
In June and July many people experience issues with green water and/or string algae in their pond. At Bradford Greenhouses we carry a number of products that will help to quickly clear up and eliminate these issues and prevent future problems. If your pond is suffering from algae/string algae problems try EcoBlast by Aquascape, Pond Clean by Laguna, and/or the D-Solv line of products from Crystal Clear to help you see your pond again! Introducing fish into your pond is also helpful as they will help to control the algae and eat away at any mosquito larvae. This will also save you money on fish food and eliminate pesky mosquitos!
At this point in the season you should stop fertilizing your pond plants. Any hardy plants that are starting to die back should be trimmed up so that the pond is not polluted by decaying plant material. All tropical pond plants should be brought inside if the temperature drops below 5°C. Water Hyacinth and Lettuce should be discarded as soon as they start to turn brown.
As the temperature begins to decline, you should feed your fish less frequently. Start by reducing feeding to once a day, then to once every two days and so on. Bradford Greenhouses offers a variety of spring/autumn fish food. Pond Care and Laguna offer wheat germ and spirulina fish foods that are available in different size pellets and bags. The spring and autumn food contains more wheat germ than the standard all season food which makes the food easier to digest in lower temperatures. You should also start to think about purchasing a pond de-‐icer or aerator to keep an open hole for gas exchange during the winter months. The Laguna Aeration kit works perfectly for keeping an open hole in the ice. Alternatively Bradford Greenhouses offers a wide variety of heaters/de-‐icers in the fall months.
If you believe that the pond should be cleaned before winter, now is the best time to do so. If you have a large amount of algae (green water specifically) and plan on winterizing fish, our pond staff will be happy to show you some solutions. If your pond is near any deciduous trees you may want to consider covering your pond with a net, to prevent leaves from rotting in your pond over the winter. Bradford Greenhouses offers netting in multiple pre-‐cut sizes from 7’X10’ to 20’X30’. We also carry bulk netting that is 4m wide by your desired length.
If it is an unusually warm September you should hold off until the end of the month or early October for most of the winter prep.
For many pond owners October means cooler temperatures and a change in our landscape. The fall colours bring beauty to your pond, but there is more to consider. Now is the time to start making plans to protect your pond and fish over the winter.
Tropical plants should now be brought inside and hardy marginals trimmed back. Before the first frost/ice coverage, all hardy plant should be dropped 2 to 3 feet deep. For Barrie and the surrounding area, plants zone 5 or lower are considered hardy. Tropical plants brought inside will not go dormant, so they will need direct sunlight for a good portion of the day. Tropical plants can either sit directly in water or they can be watered frequently.
Netting you pond is also necessary to keep falling leaves out of your pond. Netting in the fall will help keep your pond much cleaner by reducing bio-load and will save you time and expense during startup in the spring. Netting is available in 7 by 10, 14 by 20, 28 by 30 as well as in bulk. Always keep an eye on the accumulating leaves and routinely remove them to prevent the net from sagging and extending into the water.
De-Icer & Aerator
A combination of a pond de-icer and aerator is suggested to help over-winter your prized fish. Remember you need a minimum depth of 2’ to achieve this in our area. A de-icer allows harmful gasses to escape from you pond while maintaining an open hole in your pond. An aerator will provide oxygen for your fish over the winter. De-icers we carry are thermostatically controlled units and will only turn on when the ice touches the element. They will automatically shut off once they are ice free. When your pond surface begins to freeze, set it and forget it.
Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria
Aquascape and Microbe-Lift offer a variety of cold water bacteria for the fall and winter months. Cold water bacteria from Aquascape helps to keep your pond water clean and clear at colder temperatures while maintaining a healthy ecosystem. It also aids in reducing pond maintenance. Autumn/Winter prep from Microbe-Lift also helps to get your pond ready for a clean and clear spring. It will reduce the buildup of dead leaves and organic sediment all winter long and continue to provide sustained biological activity in colder water temperatures. If frozen, the bacteria will remain effective after thawing out.
Feeding should now be reduced to once every few days. You should be using a wheat germ based pond food once your water temperature dips to 50F. Once the water temperature dips below 39F stop feeding altogether. To help with this, we recommend a pond feeding thermometer that can show you exact water temperatures.
Make sure to disconnect your pump, filter and UV clarifier before the temperature drops and the water freezes. Running your pump over the winter months can potentially break the pump if the ice reaches it. It can also take several years off of the lifespan of your pump. Make sure that you store your pump in water over the winter to ensure that none of the internal components dry out. By following these guidelines you pond and your fish should be happy over the winter months until spring arrives! And remember, if you have any questions, call one of our experts in bloom to help you along the way. See you in the spring!
Winterizing Your Pond (November through February)
Continue to monitor that your aerator and/or heater is working properly. If the water freezes around an aerator or heater, DO NOT attempt to break the ice by hitting it with anything. This can shock the fish and could possibly kill them. Instead, simply pour boiling water on one spot to reopen a hole.