Fall Pond Maintenance: 9 Steps To Helping Your Pond

Clean Your Pond And Help Prepare It For When Winter Strikes In Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia

Fall pond maintenance is mostly about cleaning your pond so it keeps working well to stay beautiful. Fall pond care involves cleaning out leaves and debris, trimming foliage, making sure each part works, and installing netting to catch dead leaves. The netting helps keep your pond clean, making winter maintenance easier.

Let’s watch as Kevin finds out the 9 steps (and some tips) to fall pond maintenance as he attempts to surpise his wife, Karen. You can also see it in the video below.

“She’s right,” Kevin sighs, “it does look like a swamp monster is taking over the koi pond”:

Before fall pond maintenance

“No wonder Karen never wants to come out and sit by the pond anymore,” Kevin considers as he sees the floating leaves, dead plants, and the algae invasion. He doesn’t want to be out here either, not with the pond looking like this.

But today is going to be different.

Kevin is getting fall pond maintenance from Premier Ponds today. Karen is gone all day getting everything ready for their anniversary tomorrow. He is going to surprise her with a clean, beautiful pond to sit by. “Best anniversary present yet,” Kevin happily thinks to himself.

He can’t wait to see the smile on her face.

He checks his watch and goes around to the front just in time to see a Premier Ponds crew pulling up to the house. They’re right on time.

A man wearing a faded yellow t-shirt and green Underarmor comes up to him.

“Hi, Kevin right? My name is Andrew with Premier Ponds. We’re here to give your pond the fall pond care treatment. We’re going to make it look amazing for you and your wife’s anniversary,” Andrew cheerily claims.

“Perfect,” Kevin replies, “can’t wait. But what exactly is fall pond care?”

Andrew from Premier Ponds

7 Fall Pond Care Tips

Fall pond care can include:

  1. Removing leaves and debris
  2. Cleaning waste and muck from the bottom
  3. Checking on parts like pumps and filters
  4. Caring for any plants
  5. Checking on the fish
  6. Adding beneficial bacteria
  7. Installing fall netting

Here is a walkthrough video of Premier Ponds performing fall pond maintenance for a client:

“Wow, so it’s a whole process is it?” Kevin asks, slightly impressed, “Ours is a full pond cleaning. What does that involve?”

Fall Pond Maintenance: A Quick Overview

Andrew rattles it off like clockwork: “For fall pond maintenance, our first steps are to take out any fish and drain the pond. The fish are held in a separate container full of their old pond water. We then remove waste and clean the rocks and gravel. We also check the pond parts for cleaning or replacing. Afterwards, we care for the plants. Then we refill the pond and properly reintroduce the fish. Our final step is to add beneficial bacteria so your pond can still take care of itself.”

“If that’s what we’re getting I can’t wait to see the result,” Kevin excitedly replies.

The fall pond maintenance begins. As they go through the process, Andrew takes time to tell Kevin the importance of each step in the process. Here is what Kevin finds out.

Caring For Any Fish

“So, the first step is taking out our fish right?” Kevin asks.

Moving fish from the pond to container before fall pond maintenance

“You got it. We basically put them in a fish hotel, aka a tub full of their old pond water. Using the pond water helps them feel comfortable. They’re less likely to stress out and hurt themselves. The hardest part is carefully catching them. You get good at it after a while though, so you don’t need to worry about your fish,” Andrew answers.

“No more vacancy in the Fish Are Friends hotel,” one of the crew calls as he places the last fish in the container. Then the draining begins.

Draining The Pond For Fall Pond Care

“Time to bring out the big guns, er, pumps,” Andrew jokes.

“At least you don’t have to bail it out with buckets,” Kevin jokes back, “What are they?”

“These are professional grade pumps. We use them to remove the water. Even though they are professional grade it still takes about an hour to drain it fully. So to keep us busy, as we pump out the water we use it to clean out the pond parts.”

Fall pond care includes draining the pond with sump pumps

Caring For The Man-Made Pond Parts

“So what happens in this step Andrew?”

“It can involve anything man-made in this pond. Well, the whole thing is man-made, but I’m talking about pumps, skimmers, filters, lights, and any other additions. You know, the not naturally occurring stuff.”

Kevin carefully considers this. “So, what if they’re broken?” Andrew responds, “Then we consult with the client to see what they want done. We usually end up ordering or finding a replacement part and taking care of it. Either way, we take care of these parts so they can continue working to keep your pond clean and clear.”

“Speaking of clean and clear,” Andrew continues, “that’s what we start working towards next: cleaning and clearing the actual pond.”

Removing Waste, Muck, & Other Stuff

“Wait, how much did you say is in there?!” Kevin exclaims in surprise.

“You have about half of a foot of muck, algae, and pond stuff just lying in the bottom. Whew,” Andrew wipes his forehead, “you made the right call on getting fall pond care when you did. Any longer who knows what could’ve happened.”

Kevin scratches his head, saying “How much better off will my pond be?”

“Well, the pond will be clear so you can see, which is always nice,” Andrew says with a short laugh. “It’ll also help balance the pond water so your fish will be happier and healthier. You won’t have to worry about anything clogging your pumps or filters either. After that we get to cleaning the rocks and gravel, which is one of the more fun parts.”

Premier Ponds co-owner reveals benefits of a solids handling pump >>

Cleaning The Rocks & Gravel

Kevin raises his eyebrows in surprise. “Why is it one of the more fun parts Andrew?”


via GIPHY

“Because we get to use the power washer. We hold it about 4-6 inches away so we can get the nastiest-looking stuff off. We don’t want to remove all of it because then there won’t be any beneficial bacteria to help keep the water clean and clear. Mostly we do it to remove scale and buildup so your pond stays looking nice.”

“I’m glad you’re here then,” Kevin sighs with relief, “I would have gotten rid of all of that muck otherwise. So, what’s next?”

“Next,” Andrew says, “Next is the plants.”

Repotting & Trimming Aquatic Plants

“Plants can take over a pond and turn it into a jungle. That’s why we trim them back and repot them if necessary. It’s like giving your pond a haircut.”

Kevin raises an eyebrow, “But why in pots?”

“Pots make plants easier to maintain and keeps them from taking over other areas as easily. Here, check out how we take care of plants during fall pond maintenance:”

“Alright, you guys really seem to know what you’re doing,” Kevin states happily. “Karen is going to be thrilled!”

“And we’re almost done too, right on track to finishing before your wife gets home. You might even have extra time to make a path of rose petals from the door to the pond.” Andrew says.

“Hmm, I may have to use that,” Kevin thinks.

Andrew continues, “Now we refill the pond and add in the fish.”

Refilling The Pond & Adding The Fish

Kevin holds up his hands questioningly, asking “Do you just throw the fish back in?”

“Oh no,” Andrew chuckles, “that would be bad. It actually takes a little while. We like to add a pond detoxifier and de-chlorinator to make the water safe for your fish. Introducing the fish to the new water is an important process. Here’s how we do it:”

Adding Beneficial Bacteria: The Final Fall Pond Maintenance Step?

“Is it done?” Kevin questions.

“Almost, we need to add in beneficial bacteria first. They help reduce algae and toxins from your pond by breaking down sludge and waste, which is why we don’t wash them off with the power washer. Now, there is an optional ninth step for fall pond care.”

“What is it?”

Installing Pond Netting

“We can install pond netting to keep dead leaves and debris from falling into your pond. It helps cut down on the amount of maintenance ponds need before winter sets in. Less dead matter to clean off the pond bottom.”

Pond with netting as part of fall pond care

Kevin thinks about it. “Well, I think I’ll wait and talk to Karen first. It is for her and I don’t want to have the net there when she sees it the first time.”

“Fair enough,” Andrew accepts, “If she ends up wanting it you know who you can call. I declare this pond anniversary-ready! What do you think Kevin?”

Kevin’s already smiling his answer. “You guys have done amazing work! I’m impressed and I’m not even the one this is being done for. My wife’s going to be blown away!”

A couple hours later…

Karen opens the front door and calls out “Hon come help me unload the car, I’ve got…groceries…” Karen trails off. Beneath her feet are rose petals. Her excitement builds as she follows it out  to the backyard. Karen gasps as she sees her pond. “Kevin did you do this?! It’s…It’s…”

Keep Your Pond A Special Place

Ponds are a special place for every home that has them. But, they need regular maintenance and care so they can stay that way. Kevin helped their pond become a special place for his wife again. If your pond isn’t a special place anymore, you can turn it back into one.

You can use our pond maintenance services >>