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Winter and summer pond care in Horsham

So what are the main rules of keeping a healthy pond?

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Ponds are often a great addition to any garden. They encourage wildlife and offer a sense of calm and relaxation.


However ponds need to be cared for regularly to keep them this way.


They can easily turn into an eyesore if left without the right care and attention.

Winter pond care

  • If the pond is stocked with fish, a pond surface heater can be installed to prevent freezing occurring. Never smash the ice, as the shock waves can harm fish.

  • Improving the oxygen levels in the water by circulating it with a pump benefits both amphibians and fish, particularly in deeper ponds where oxygen does not diffuse readily through the water. However, making a hole in the ice is not essential for ponds not stocked with fish.

Summer pond care

  • Water evaporates during windy or hot weather, leading to the water level dropping. The reduced surface area can be damaging for fish as there’s less oxygen available, so top up the pond if necessary. Ideally use rainwater from a butt, as tap water is rich in nutrients that causes algae to prosper.

  • If you do have to use tap water and you keep fish, add the tap water gradually in small amounts to prevent the cold liquid shocking the fish in the pond. If a large amount of tap water is being added, tap water conditioner should be used to neutralise any harmful chemicals in the water.

  • On hot, humid nights, spray water over the surface of the pool from a hose to break the surface and improve oxygen levels in the water. Alternatively we can install a water feature to keep the surface bubbling gently.

  • Floating weeds can quickly cover the surface of a pond. If they're in the process of being removed, they should be left to the side of the pond overnight, so that larger creatures can return to the water. Rinsing the material in a bucket of pond water can help release smaller creatures which can then be returned to the pond.

Pond plant care through the seasons

  • Ensure plenty of light gets to the pond by pruning back overhanging branches and brushing off snow. This will allow submerged plants and algae to continue to photosynthesise and replenish oxygen levels in the water. Consider adding more oxygenating plants in the spring if there aren't many.

  • Mid-spring through to early summer is the best time to buy pond plants as the water is warming up and plants will respond by growing rapidly.

  • Aim to keep around 50 percent of the surface free of vegetation by thinning out plants occasionally during the summer.

  • Deep water aquatics with floating leaves, such as water lilies, benefit from regular dividing and re-potting in spring. Place containers on raised bricks lowered in stages as the plants grow, so the leaves can always reach the surface until the final depth is reached when the plant is mature.

  • If not being potted on, water lilies benefit from a supplementary feed in the spring with a specialist aquatic plant food that encourages better flowering

  • Snip off any tatty leaves, along with any fading flowers in summer. Remove dead leaves and debris from plants early in the autumn to avoid decomposing vegetation build up in the pond.

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