Minnesota Farmer


Spring pond cleaning

It’s March, we should not be having weather this nice, but my pond is greening up so it’s time to get cleaning.

After this mornings fog burned off the weather turned really warm.  Temperatures approaching 80 degrees were found in our area.  This is unusual for March here in southwestern Minnesota.  I was hauling beans in to town, but an oil leak in the engine compartment of the truck meant I needed to add 1 gallon of oil to the truck motor.  The truck is now in the shop getting fixed.  What to do?

My visits to the pond revealed not only awakening frogs, but new leaves on many of the plants in or near the pond.  It’s time for a pond Spring cleaning.

These pond side plants are sending out green shoots.  These plants have been here at the waters edge all winter.  I started seeing some green here before the ice was completely out of the pond.  This is much earlier than would have been possible the last two years.

If you look in the water near the center of the picture you can see one orange baby koi and a few little circles in the water indicating more just under the surface.  Last years hatch of koi are checking out the water’s surface for food.  I counted three larger koi and at least 19 first years.  Too bad that most of them are dark colors.

The plants that normally would grow just under the waters surface had their pots moved to deeper water for the winter.  Now they are sending leaves up to the surface.  You can see the two pots as green leaves near the center of the picture.  Today I moved them to their platforms so they could grow in the place they should.  It meant putting on the chest waders so I could go into that COLD water.

Part of the spring pond cleaning is to remove some of the dead plant material from the bottom of the pond.  Leaves that blew in last fall started to rot on the bottom of the pond and they make some really good compost.  They do tend to take some of the oxygen from the water when they rot so air needs to get mixed into the water either with a bubbler or by pumping water down a “creek” when there is ice on the pond.  Not all of the material should be removed from the pond bottom since frogs and turtles need that as a place to hide.  You can see the water plant on its shelf in the middle of the pond.

Shore line plant material needs to be removed to keep it from entering the water as they break up.  Removing the plant material revealed these sedum starting to come up.  There were several other perennial plants starting to green up.  There will be more to do if the weather stays warm.  As with any garden, this one takes work to keep it nice.  Spring is coming!

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Love this post! Suddenly wishing I had left the koi pond in the back yard when I moved in but it was broken & I had no idea how to deal with it. Now I know I would have had a friend to help with questions. But I regularly enjoy the koi pond a the office…. in fact, I got photos just this week! Will tweet this for the garden chat folks!

By the way, not sure if you saw…. I’ve moved my blog now. Hope you have a chance to check it out.

Comment by Janice




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