Prepare and Care for Your Garden Pond during Cold Season

Garden ponds are not naturally built to survive cold weather. With the cold season kicking at the door, here are the best garden pond ideas for fall and winter! It is everything you need for the perfect garden pond checklist!

Prepare and care for your garden pond during cold season


Garden ponds are quite sensitive to climate changes, particularly to significant drops in temperature. As the cold season approaches, you need to take all the necessary precautions to ensure that your fish and their environment will be strong enough to overcome the fall and winter seasons. In the article ahead, you will find all the major garden pond guidelines and tips in order to prepare it for the upcoming cold seasons properly. If you’ll need additional information you can find it in home maker guides at

Late Autumn Tasks
We call it the cold season, but this actually implies two different types of weather conditions, the ones specific to the fall season and the ones specific to winter. Garden pond care measures should be taken according to each season in part, so here are the main late autumn tasks you will need to check:

  1. Fish Feeding
    Whether you have populated your garden pond with koi fish or goldfish, or both, you will have to make sure they bulk up enough before the temperature drops, and the water gets too cold. Food supplements rich in wheat germ oil would be the best choice.

Naturally, the weather temperature varies from one place to another, so you will have to abide by the temperature specific to your local area and know when to cease feeding them. Normally, when the water temperature drops below 45°F, you should stop the feeding process.

  1. Water Preparation
    By late fall, the leaves of the trees will start falling abundantly. To protect your pond, you will have to mount a covering net above it. All debris and leaves that have already reached your garden pond should be removed. You should also check the pond water levels of PH, nitrate, ammonia, and nitrite periodically. And when these levels start to drop, you should start moving your fish indoors.

A quick tip: always use the water from the garden pond when transferring them to the fish tank.

  1. Plant Care
    With the winter months kicking at the door, one of the best garden pond ideas is to trim them back, to prepare them for the cold. However, if you went for tropical pond plants like lettuce, hyacinth, or tropical lilies, you should remove them completely and transfer them indoors.
  2. Landscape Check
    When you’re done cleaning the water of leaves and debris, you should do the same for the entire garden pond perimeter. After all, it’s late autumn, and a general clean-up is long overdue. Take all the necessary measures to prevent run-off fertilizer and much from ending up in your pond.

Winter Tasks
And once you’re done with the late autumn garden pond checklist, it’s time to move up to the even harsher weather conditions of winter:

  1. Pond Filtration
    If possible, you should keep the waterfall style filter on for the entire duration of winter, or use a garden pond aerator instead. It is crucial for the safety of your pet fish. If you have a pressurized filter, you should drain it and store it indoors, preferably somewhere dry. The same goes for UV lights, which should be disconnected and removed throughout the entire winter.
  2. Pond Surface Care
    The main thing you need to consider for garden pond care during winter is the formation of ice. Adding pond heaters or using a high-quality de-icer product is always a great idea, as these can keep certain round areas of the pond from freezing. The most common cause of death for pet fish during winter is a completely frozen pond. The small round areas created by the heaters will allow air and pond gases to be exchanged.
  3. Fish Care
    As long as you restrict water circulation and make sure your garden pond is deep enough, you can safely leave your fish in during the winter. It goes for most species, except for fancy goldfish like lionheads or bubble eyes. And when winter has settled in, you will need to monitor the water temperature of the pond daily. When it drops below 45-50°F, you need to cease the feeding process. It is one of the essential garden pond guidelines that can save you a lot of grief and money.
  4. Pump Care
    Air pumps or submersible ones facilitate higher levels of oxygen intake. During wintertime, it is best to delete them, clean them thoroughly, and store them somewhere safe and warm for the entire period. The best way to save direct garden pond drive style pumps is directly in water, as this will help its seals to be moist. Magnetic styled ones can be stored anywhere as long as the place is dry.
  5. Waterfall Care
    The colder it gets outside, the more likely your waterfall will form dams of ice, which can redirect water out of your garden pond, draining it before you even know it. As such, the safest thing you can do is to shut down your garden pond waterfall and remove the pumps.

Both fall and winter can be quite stressful for your pet fishes’ immune system. It is why you need to take into consideration all of the garden pond guidelines mentioned so far and check each one of them at the right time. They will have your garden pond covered throughout the cold season, and when spring rolls back in, everything will be back to normal.