5 Tips to Get Your Pond Ready for Winter



In this article I’m going to give you 5 quick tips that will save you time and aggravation when  getting your pond ready for winter. Stay till the end because number 5 may surprise you. If you find this article helpful be sure to leave a comment below. Ok let's get started. 

Tip #1 - Stop feeding your fish

koi fish in the fall

Once the temp starts to dip into the 40 degree range you will need to stop feeding your fish. Your fish are cold blooded and their metabolism slows down as water temps get cooler. If you feed your fish when they are about to go into their dormant state, the food could start to rot inside them during the winter. 

Tip #2 - Put your leaf net on before the leaves fall

Your pond water will change to a dark brown if you let leaves fall into it. Getting your net on early will help you avoid this. When the leaves start to weigh down the net it may sag into the water.

To avoid this, use some plastic conduit to keep it above the water. When the leaves begin to build up, use a leaf blower to remove them. You try using a rake but I found that it gets caught in the net and is more trouble than it’s worth.

leaves on pond net
dark pond water from leaves

Tip #3 - Store your pump in water

Inside of your pond pump are seals and gaskets to keep water flowing the way it was designed to. If you store your pump on a shelf in your garage, you run the risk of those rubber gaskets drying out and cracking.

pond pump out of the water

To avoid this, fill a bucket with water to store your pump in your garage or basement.

If the winter isn’t too cold where you live where your pump will freeze solid, just leave it in your skimmer box. Either way, keep your rubber gaskets and O rings in good shape so you will be ready for next season.

Tip #4 - Trim back your plants

Your plants are done blooming for the year, and in case you haven’t noticed they have just about taken over. As we head into the cooler weather it’s the best time to hack them down to water level. 

trimmed pond plants in fall

This will help them get a jump start in the spring, but it will also reduce the amount of dead foliage that may wind up on the bottom of your pond adding to the muck.

Don’t be afraid to hack them right down. Pond plants are hearty and most will grow back with a vengeance.

Tip #5 - Open your PVC valves

Here is something you may have never thought of until it gets you. If you use PVC valves, be sure to keep them open when you drain your system.

pvc valve in pond filtration system
open pvc valve

If you don’t, water will get trapped inside the valve and when it freezes, the valve will crack. Save yourself a headache and keep your valves open.


There you have it, 5 tips to get your pond ready for winter. I hope you found some value in this article. How do you get your pond ready for winter? Do you have any tips for closing your pond? Leave a comment below.

Do these things now before the weather changes too drastically, you will be glad that you did. Until next time, enjoy your backyard water garden.



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    1. Our winters aren’t as harsh as that in upstate New York. My pond has frozen solid to about 12″ and the water plants survive no problem. Water, and bog plants are usually very hardy and will survive even the harshest winters. You could always check if the plants in your pond are rated for the zone you live in. Here is a link to a zone map https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/ hope this was helpful.


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