Text Box: In The Fall
   As the weather cools, feed your fish with Tetra Wheat Germ food sticks as this formula is easier to digest.  Stop when the water temperature drops below 50 degrees and/or the fish lose interest.  It is common for fish to feed heavily in the fall.
   As your plants yellow then brown out trim this foliage back to the base of the plant.  Letting this debris rot in your pond can be toxic to your fish.  
  Do Not clean the pond in the fall.  Clean instead in the spring (ideally).  If you have bullfrogs, they need some sludge in the bottom to hibernate into.  
   As hardy plants go dormant, move the following plants to deeper water to winterize: lotus, pickerel rush, arrowhead, thalia, water clover, and parrots feather.  These are all winter hardy, but need deeper water to insulate them for the winter or you could lose them.  Don’t want to get into the water and do this?  Call us!  We’ll winterize your pond for you.
  Leave water iris and cattails on the shelf!  
  It is not too late to add tropical plants to your pond.  First off, they are on sale during Frog Days at Shady Lakes.  Tropical water lilies peak with their color in the fall.  Hardy lilies will be seriously slowing in September, so having tropicals in the pond will greatly expand your flowering season.  
   Before the autumn leaves fall, spread a Leaf Catcher net over the surface.  This will make your life alot easier!  Better yet, add a Pond Skimmer for the ultimate in low maintenance (see enclosed article). 
   Before first frost, move your tropical bog plants indoors by a sunny window.  Treat them like houseplants.  They do quite well indoors in winter.  Return to pond the first of May.
   Compost hyacinths and shellflower after first frost (unless you have a greenhouse to store them).  
   Algae problems disappear with cool weather.
   If you are not going to run your biological filter during the winter, disassemble the filter and thoroughly clean it in the fall.  If you are going to run it, wait until spring to clean it.
Text Box:    If you turn off your waterfall during the winter, drain all the plumbing to avoid freeze damage and store your pump underwater in the pond.
   To winter over a tropical water lily, wait until ice hits your pond to remove the plant.  Reach under the soil to feel for the tuber.  It is only about the size of a walnut.  Pull it up and trim off all leaves and flowers.  Store the tuber in a closed jar of damp sand where the temperature won’t drop below 50 degrees.  (Refrigerators work well!)  Plant out again for the lily to re-grow from this tuber in the spring.  Otherwise, treat tropical water lilies as annuals and replace in the spring.  All tropical water lilies are 20% off during the Frog Days of Summer Sale (August 10-19), and they look great!

And For The Winter…
 Keeping a hole open in the ice is the main wintertime concern.  The pond needs to breathe.  Otherwise, toxic gas builds up under the ice that is very dangerous to fish.
 Important:  Do not shatter the ice as the shock can kill your fish!
 For ponds of 600 gallons or less, the easiest way to go is an automatic pond de-icer that turns on and off as needed.  In mild winters, floating a log in the pond is effective.  Or… you can simply run your waterfall and enjoy the soothing sound of running water.
 Your plants and fish are in a dormant stage, so do not feed either.  
 Keep your water level up because evaporation occurs in winter as well.  To winter over plants and fish, a two foot water depth is adequate for Albuquerque, but two and a half to three feet is needed for colder areas and higher elevations.
 In early December, cover tub gardens with a clear polyethelene to prevent it from freezing like a popsicle.  This will require at least some winter sunlight hitting the poly to be effective.  Remove fish if possible.  Take off this covering by early February.
Text Box:  Seasonal Reminders...