How much to cut back in zone 7b?


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Hi Pond Peeps!
I have a dilemma. We have a very nice day today. A great day to get out and work in the pond. Here in north central Georgia, we will probably get our first frost in the first part of November. Our winters here can get cold, but many plants never fully die back.
I was considering going out today to cut a lot of stuff back in the pond and do some major clean up, to prevent lots of organic waste falling in the pond over the winter, when the biological filter is less active and effective.
BUT - if I cut back all the lily pads, the fish won't have as much shade or protection - they will feel very exposed.
If I cut back a ton of the plants, will this allow more sun and algae growth? And will it decrease the amount of filtration the plants can provide?
I'm just in a weird part of the country where the growing season is long - but the temps go back and forth many times in the winter.
What do you think I should do?
Thanks!
 
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I understand how you feel. I cut my lilies back this week, but I also netted the pond....which seems to make them feel secure. We also have a shade sail over the pond.

If your temps are dropping, increased sunlight shouldn't create an algae bloom, in my opinion :)
 

mrsclem

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I decided to wait to cut back my lilies. 77 today here! I'm hoping for a few more weeks of mild weather but the pond temps have been 52-65 in the last week. The koi are already slowing down and hanging at the bottom of the ponds with the exception of this morning. Warm and rain so they though food was falling so they were all out top.
 
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Well, I went out and basically went swimming. I got all the way in. Brrrr. And gross! Cleaning out all the gunk and crud everywhere sure did release some stankage. I pulled and cut two buckets worth of stuff. Lots of leaves and old plant material were caught up in it all. The pickerel, especially, was squishy and almost transparent. Of course, the fish thought this was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to them. I'm hoping the backache of stooping around under the net will be worth it for the water quality over the winter!
 
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I was in the pond yesterday doing the same thing. My goodness, that was bracing!

We obviously get much colder than you so I do cut back anything that will end up rotting in the pond. If it will stand up straight all winter, I leave it until spring. In our case, I think removing all the plant growth and allowing more sunshine into the pond is good at this time of year to warm the water up a bit.
 

addy1

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We climbed to 78 yesterday, but cut everything back already. Heading to 70 today. Nice and sunny.
A good amount of rain yesterday, 1.41 inches, which we really needed in September.
 
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To the OP; I'm not far from you, also in North Ga. I've found that no matter what I do, I always get an algae bloom, even when the temps hit the teens in Jan/Feb. with no other plants growing. I cut back the lillies, remove all the WH, and give the bog plants a haircut as well. Water will green up, untill things start growing again in spring. But such is the cycle of life.
 

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