Blog Article

Wet & Windy winters – what this means for our garden ponds and wildlife

Wet & Windy winters – what this means for our garden ponds and wildlife

Date: 1 February 2024 | By: aqua

Frequent storms have been problematic over the last few months and with milder wet & windy winters becoming more common, it’s worth considering what this might mean for your pond and its wildlife.

Preparing for heavy rainfall

We’ve experienced a lot of rain so far this winter. Whilst regular rainfall is helpful for keeping the water level of your pond topped up, heavy rainfall and water runoff can upset its balance.

We know that garden pest treatments and weedkillers often contain pesticides and/or herbicides. But what we may not consider is that during heavy rainfall these could find their way into your pond. Contaminated water runoff from your garden or from nearby farmland can be harmful or even fatal to your ponds ecosystem. So our first recommendation is to avoid using these products all together or to at least use them sparingly.

Creating planted borders close to the pond edge can prevent water runoff from entering your pond, and will create an attractive backdrop. If you already have borders around your pond, then these can be mulched in autumn to help them absorb excess rainfall. Also beneficial is maintaining a healthy lawn, as it will soak up more rainwater, reducing the amount that could run into your pond.

Clearing pond debris

High winds often wreak havoc in our gardens. No doubt after all these storms you have found a collection of debris decorating your pond. If left, this debris will sink to the bottom, putting pressure on pumps and filtration systems. Over time this will turn to sludge, releasing toxic gasses that are harmful to aquatic life. Do check your pond after a storm and promptly remove as much debris as possible, especially leaves and branches.

Pruning your trees and shrubs before winter helps ensure their weight is distributed evenly, preventing branches from snapping off in a storm. At Broadley Aquatics, garden landscaping and maintenance is one of the services we offer. So we can attend to your pond and garden at the same time. Netting smaller ponds can also be a good way of preventing debris from entering the water and reducing maintenance.

Feeding your fish in milder weather

Fewer frosts and higher winter temperatures may mean your fish need more food and plants need more regular maintenance. Fish need feeding daily until water temperatures fall below 10 degrees. Then you should use a wheatgerm based feed as this is easier for them to digest and feed only every few days. When water temperatures drop consistently below 4° you should stop feeding your fish altogether and wait until it warms up again in the spring.

Rainwater harvesting - one to consider?

All this wet weather may even prompt you to think about rainwater harvesting. Collecting rainwater in large underground storage tanks will help you to manage your garden during prolonged dry spells in the summer and divert some of the excess rainfall during the winter. If this is something you are considering, then get in touch and we can discuss the options with you.