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Double Pond and Waterfall

A Pretty Pond With a Bridge

Fresh spring clean out

Brand new pond, waterfall, bridge, slab stone patio and steps

A gentle forest stream

A Fresh Clean Pond

Hurth Waterscapes Spring Pond Clean Out

Early Fall Transitions

Early Fall is a transitional time of year, whether you live in the Midwest, the Northeast, the Southwest, or anywhere else in North America. Colors change from green to multitudinous shades of red, yellow, orange, purple, and brown. Temperatures change from hot and steamy, to cooler and occasionally chilly. Sports change from baseball to football, food changes from ice cream to hot soup, days grow shorter, and the old world just keeps right on a spinning’.

But what do you have to know if you’re a pond enthusiast who loves their colorful and personable koi, their aquatic plants, and everything else that goes with the water gardening hobby when the fall begins to roll in? Well, to tell you the truth, there are several basics that you’ll need to be prepared to cover, and they include the following things.

First Remember the Fish
As the temperatures begin to sneak down into the 60’s on a regular basis, you should start feeding your fish a little bit less each day. Then when the temperature regularly hits 55 degrees, you must STOP FEEDING them completely. At that point they’re beginning to go into hibernation for the winter, and feeding them after that tends to confuse and antagonize their metabolic system and cause digestive problems.

So the strategy at this time of year is to give them just enough nutrition so that, as they go into hibernation, like the proverbial grizzly bear out in the forest, your koi will have enough stored nutrition to make it through the long hard winter, while parked at the bottom of your pond. Of course people in the tropical climates just keep on doing what they’ve been doing, because they don’t contend with hibernation issues.

Then Remember the Leaves
As those colorful leaves begin falling off the surrounding trees one by one, you may want to consider getting a net to throw over the pond in order to minimize the leaf population that ends up on the bottom. Any debris that ends up on the pond’s bottom inevitably deteriorates, biodegrades, and emits toxins, which can cause problems for you fish. So you may want to minimize the amount of “stuff” that ends up in your pond by using a net.

And Finally, Remember to Have Fun
There are two more things that you’re going to have to concern yourself with when it comes to winterizing your pond, including pruning your plants back, and presuming you want to shut down for the winter, removing your waterfall pump. But those are things that are more well suited for a later fall, early winter discussion.

Early fall is a time of the year that’s still alive with outdoor possibilities. So whatever you do, take full advantage of them. Light a fire in the fire pit if the weather calls for it. Roast some weenies or marshmallows, and finish off the water garden season with a flurry of fun. After all, you and your family deserve it, right?

Doug Hurth is a Certified Aquascape Contractor and owns Hurth Waterscapes, a full service landscape construction company that specializes in pond and waterfall construction, maintenance and retail in Southeastern Wisconsin.  Hurth Waterscapes can be reached at (262) 268-1121; or visit

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