Prepare Your Pond for Winter with This Checklist

As cooler temperatures have begun to take hold in Maryland, homeowners are starting to prepare their various landscaping features to survive the winter. If you have a pond as part of your landscape, you’ll need to take special precautions this fall, especially if it houses fish. With freezing temperatures on the horizon, your pond needs proper care to ensure its survival. Here’s a handy checklist to refer to as you begin to close your pond for the winter.

Keep the Pond Clean

Turning leaves make for a beautiful fall landscape, but eventually those leaves will start falling onto your landscape. This can mean trouble for your pond. Keep it clean and free of leaves by using a fine net to scoop them from the surface. You may also need to pump some of the water out of the pond to expose the shelves and make it easier to remove any leaves that are stuck to the edges and walls. Use a hose nozzle to blast away accumulated debris and sludge, then remove any remaining debris with a vacuum. If you replace the water in the pond, don’t forget to use a water conditioner to remove any harmful elements.

Add a Pond Net

A pond net can be a huge help in keeping your water feature clean throughout the fall and winter. Ensure that it is suspended at least eighteen inches above the surface and secure it around the edges. Don’t allow the net to sag into the water – leaves may end up collecting in the area and decaying, creating further problems.

Feed Your Fish

In Maryland, it’s best to leave your fish in the pond during the winter as long as the depth is at least eighteen inches and there isn’t any water circulation. Feed the fish with a wheat-germ based food specially formulated for fall weather. You should monitor water temperatures carefully and stop feeding the fish altogether once it has dipped below 39 degrees.

Invest in a Deicer

Decomposing organic material creates gasses which can be harmful to fish when they are trapped under a frozen sheet of ice. A deicer is a critical component of caring for your pond during the winter. By occasionally melting a small hole on the surface, you allow these harmful gasses to escape, promoting the health of your small ecosystem.


If you have a unique, personal landscaping project in mind, contact TDH Landscaping. We will work with you to combine your vision with our renowned expertise and experience to make it happen. We have been in business for over fifty years, and our goal is to give every landscape a curated touch while offering the knowledge to keep your residential outdoor area beautiful all year long. Give us a call today at 410-692-0050, send us an email at, or fill out our contact form here to get the process started. Keep up with our blog for more updates and helpful tips, and don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInPinterestYoutube, and Houzz!

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