How To Protect Your Water Garden Feature Over Winter

Winter is here, which means it is time to do a few important bits and pieces around the garden in order to maintain it over the colder months.

Doing these tasks may seem bothersome now you’re not going to be spending much time in the garden for a while, but you will thank yourself when you’ve got less to do to recuperate your outdoor space when it warms up and you can start enjoying it again.

With water features, you must take the time and effort to protect them for winter. Getting them set up for winter means you will save lots of time and money in the long run, as damage done by the cold can be extremely costly and take hours of repairs come spring.Here’s how to protect your garden water feature over winter:

Keeping Movement In The Water

You should keep the water moving, particularly if you have fish. During winter your pump will need to be on a high, or maximum flow. This is to try and stop the water freezing and provide a warmer area of water for your fish to enjoy.

Doing this also provides a much bigger water movement than with a lower flow, which should help break down any small debris and keep the water from freezing for as long as possible.

Removing The Plants

As soon as the first frost comes, take the plants out of the water. Leaving them in could cause a lot of problems, especially if they die and begin to rot.

Troubleshooting Any Leaks

If you do suspect you have a leak, look to get that fixed before the weather gets really cold.It will be much easier to fix now, rather than leaving it to spring and seeing the issue has gotten much worse, with the harsh weather aggravating the problem.


Cleaning a water feature is never fun, but it is also really important. Clear any bigger pieces of debris away, then start on all the smaller debris. Check the entire feature for signs of algae, following with an inexpensive algae treatment if you do find any.

If possible, it might be easier for you to drain the feature completely to clean it. This enables you to get a much better look at the feature, providing a better ability for a deep clean. You can then refill the feature once cleaned.

Taking Out The Pump

If you do opt to not to keep the water moving you must remove the pump or it is likely to freeze or break. This is a costly issue, which could cost even more if water gets into the pump and breaks the electrics.

So try to ensure you do one or the other and either opt for leaving the pump running, or remove it completely.

Cut Back Shrubs And Trees Around The Feature

Cut back any plants surrounding the water feature so you don’t have to pick up plant debris from it every single day. Trees should be your priority as they will drop the most debris during these months. Your water feature will stay looking nice, your pump shouldn’t clog and should stay running well.

Use De-Icer

If you are used to freezing temperatures where you live, you might need to use a floating de-icer. These devices start working whenever they detect the temperature has reached freezing. These devices will also stop working once they have detected the weather is warmer.

These devices are incredibly convenient and work well to aid the protection of your water feature.

Deal With Brown Water

Despite your best efforts, your water may turn brown because of constant debris hitting the water. Ensure you clean your feature when this happens and prune surrounding trees to avoid the problem continuing, then use activated carbon in the water to get it back to its normal colour.

Nurture Your Fish

If you have fish, it is important to be aware of their different needs during winter. They will naturally go into a slower, hibernation like state. Although all breeds of fish are different, some require that you do not feed them once they are living in a certain temperature of water, so check their needs before the weather changes so you know what to do.

It is also worth considering an additional pump to encourage water oxygenation.

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