How to Make Your Garden Pond Fit for Spring

When spring comes, the garden pond requires proper care. The fish, but also other animals, wake up from their cold torpor. The plants grow again. However, the coming warmer days also bring algae onto the scene. Mud has accumulated during the winter. You need to check the plants and watch out for dead fish. You can get started with pond maintenance in May after the Ice Saints. You will have less work to do if you start caring for your pond as early as March.

The Right Time for Pond Care

The right time to make your pond fit for spring is May. After the Ice Saints, when no more severe frosts are expected, you can put sensitive fish and plants back into the pond. However, you can start preparing your pond for spring as early as March. If the days become warmer again, you can dismantle the ice freezer. You clean it and store it for the following winter.

Check pH and Carbon Hardness

Before you get to cleaning the pond, you should check the water’s pH and carbon hardness. You can measure pretty accurately with test strips and a color scale or drop test equipment. The pH should be between 7 and 8.5. For tiny beneficial organisms to develop well, a carbonate hardness of 6 to 10 degrees dH (German hardness) is best. The carbonate hardness may be lower in spring because the pond water has become softer due to rain or meltwater. You can bring the pond back into balance with various mineral supplements. You should also check the pond for multiple toxins such as ammonia, ammonium, nitrate, nitrite, and chlorine.
In the future, you should check the water values regularly, at least once a week.

Cleaning the Pond

You can remove dead plant parts on the water surface and leaves that have fallen into the pond with a landing net. To prevent the formation of algae, you should remove such impurities in early spring.

If the water temperature is permanently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), it is good to clean the pond. You should use the pond mud vacuum to suck out mud. You can dispose of this sludge in the compost or use it as fertilizer for the garden. You do not need to take the fish out of your pond for cleaning. If you need to make repairs to the pond liner and remove the water, move the fish to a replacement pond. This replacement pond can be a large water tank that you fill with the pond water.

Check the Technique

If you are preparing your garden pond for spring, you should check the technology. You should clean the pump and filter and check for any damage. It would be best if you replaced the filter sponges. If you have pond lighting, check it for damage. If any parts are defective, you should arrange for replacements on time. You can reinstall water features when frosts have stopped.

UVC lamps provide full power during the pond season. After that, the performance decreases noticeably. It would help if you replaced the UVC lamps. Only then, when filter bacteria again colonize the filter sponge, use the UVC lamp. Depending on the filter sponge, this may take three days to two weeks.

The Care of the Existing Plants

Rid your pond of silt. This is an excellent time to give the pond plants the attention they need. To inspect and possibly divide the plants, remove the plant baskets from the pond. You should check the plants for dead and rotten parts and remove these parts. The growth of the plants is encouraged with pruning. The finished plant parts make excellent garden fertilizer. However, they can also be composted and then used to improve the soil.

If your plants have grown too large, you should divide them. Use a spade to separate the root ball. You should also pay attention to whether you need to fill substrate. Place the plant baskets back into the pond. You should make sure that smaller plants and those aquatic plants that grow more slowly can flourish. There is not always enough room in the pond to put the loose plant parts back in. Swap meets are an excellent opportunity to trade plants or fish with other pond friends.

If you have plants in a natural pond rooted in the soil, control is noticeably more difficult. You can drain some water. You can also use a spade to divide plants in the ground and pry off root balls. With waders, you can climb into the pond without finding the water uncomfortable.

Putting Sensitive Pond Plants Back in

If you have exotic plants that you have kept protected during the cold season, these plants can now be returned to the pond. You should also check these plants and

  • remove dead and rotten parts
  • Cut back plants if necessary
  • Divide root balls of plants that have grown too large
  • Check substrate and refill if necessary.

Replant the Pond

If you want to part with various pond plants or if some plants did not survive the cold season, the time after the Ice Saints is suitable to replant the pond. You may have plants that you would like to trade with other pond owners and find what you want at a swap meet. However, it would help if you also were careful when replanting that you do not plant the pond too lushly, that the plants harmonize well with each other and that all plants can spread out nicely. It would be best if you only used solid and healthy plants for the new planting.

For the new pond plants, use planting baskets again, which you fill with the appropriate substrate. To prevent the new plants from floating up, you should add enough gravel or washed quartz sand as the substrate’s top layer.

If the water surface offers enough space, you can also use floating plants such as crayfish claws, duckweed, or frogbit. These plants can counteract the formation of algae.

Pay Attention to the Shore Planting

Not only the plants in the shallow and deep water zones deserve your attention if you want to make your pond fit for spring. You should also check the plants in the riparian zone and around the pond and remove dead plant parts. You can trim any bushes that are growing lushly. YOu can move sensitive plants back outdoors. You can now remove a protective fleece that you placed before the frost set in. If plants have increased, you should also make sure to divide them.

Control the Environment

To enjoy your pond again in the new season, you should check the surroundings of the pond. For example, you can

  • Check stones on the bank for strength
  • check the pier for damage and repair it
  • Check a wooden border for damage, fix it and paint it with a glaze.

Here, too, you can now make a redesign if you no longer like the existing equipment.

Starting Again in the New Season

Once you have made your garden pond fit, you can start the new pond season again. Your fish become active again and demand food. If the fish have multiplied enormously, you should pay attention to whether the pond still offers the optimal conditions for a more extensive stock of fish. You can provide surplus fish at a swap meet. You should now regularly remove algae from the pond. If the sun shines strongly on the pond, you should shade your pond with a parasol or a sun sail.


You can start making your pond fit for spring as early as March. You should remove leaves that have fallen into the pond. If the water temperature is constantly above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), clean the pond and check the plants. You need to remove mud and recheck the water values regularly. Always make sure that no more than three-quarters of the water surface is covered with plants. It would help if you also were careful not to have too many fish in your pond.

Florian Egert

I am Florian Egert, the owner of I live with my wife and two children in Germany in a small village in the countryside.

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