Prepping for winter in zone 7b

Discussion in 'Winterizing Your Pond' started by bagsmom, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. bagsmom

    bagsmom

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    I know it's waaaaaaaay early to be thinking about this, but I was. As I was sitting there this afternoon, noticing some leaves falling and seeing how the afternoon light is changing, it got me thinking about the change of seasons.

    I'm sure I can run the pond all winter here. We get some cold snaps. Big ones, even, but they don't typically last more than a few frigid hours. The pond is about 3 feet deep at the deepest. All the plumbing is buried underground and should be fine.

    I'm wondering what to do about plants. I know dead plant matter will rot and get mushy. But do many pond plants continue to survive after a frost? Should I just cut stuff off at the crown if it does freeze? I think I am supposed to cut back the foliage of water lilies. But do I just leave everything if it doesn't look injured from frost? Just thinking about the shelter the floating-leafed plants provide for the fish.

    I don't want stuff getting funky and rotting in the water, but I also don't want to take away beneficial plant cover/oxygen if I don't have to.
     
    bagsmom, Sep 5, 2017
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  2. bagsmom

    Lisak1

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    Most all of our marginal pond plants die off from the cold. My approach is this - if the foliage will fall into the water as it dies, I cut it back. If it is able to remain standing, I leave it until spring. My reason is this - the more I have standing around the pond, the less leaves and debris will blow into the pond over winter. Plus I love the structure that even the dead foliage provides around the pond, especially when the snow falls.

    I don't cut back any of my terrestrial perennials either until spring for similar reasons. Also, the plant itself appreciates if you leave some foliage standing as leaves and even snow that gathers around the base of the plant helps protect it from the harshest weather. In your zone that probably isn't as important, but I do believe it helps here in 5B where our temps can drop well below zero F for many days at a time.
     
    Lisak1, Sep 5, 2017
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  3. bagsmom

    Nyboy

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    Another good reason not to cut back terrestrial perennials is a lot of birds depend on their seeds to get them though winter. I never dead head, drives some gardening friends crazy.
     
    Nyboy, Sep 5, 2017
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  4. bagsmom

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I don't either. In the spring I mow down my wildflower gardens until then just leave them be. The birds inhale the seeds.
     
    addy1, Sep 6, 2017
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  5. bagsmom

    bagsmom

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    The hard thing with that here is we never know when Spring will pop up. Many times I've gone out to mow down my dead stuff and there are already new leaves emerging. The south has a longer growing season, which is nice, but it's sure unpredictable! I think the goldfinches have already cleaned out my echinachea and brown eyed susan seeds! They've been very snacky! :)
    Having said that, I probably will leave up my stuff around the pond.
     
    bagsmom, Sep 6, 2017
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  6. bagsmom

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    My bog plants start growing under the ice. Usually in March.
     
    addy1, Sep 6, 2017
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  7. bagsmom

    Gordo33

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    Great point. I never thought about it from the birds perspective. I have always dead headed to promote more flower growth and cut back the plants in the fall. I will change that approach this year. I have plenty of birds using the pond for bathing and drinking. Now they will have additional food.
     
    Gordo33, Sep 6, 2017
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  8. bagsmom

    Gordo33

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    Question regarding winter water lilly maintenance.
    Do you trim back the pads to the pot ?
    Prior to rebuilding the pond I was able to reach down and pull up the pots. So depending on the weather somewhere between the end of Oct and Nov I would trim them and place them at the deep end .
    The rebuilt pond is deeper so now to get to the lillies I get in there. Don't think I'll be doing that towards the end of Oct or Nov.
     
    Gordo33, Sep 6, 2017
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  9. bagsmom

    Lisak1

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    I cut mine all the way back @Gordo33 . And yes, I get in one last time in October. I try to pick a nice sunny day so when I hoist my freezing self out of the pond it doesn't feel quite so bad as I run into the house! :coldfeet:
     
    Lisak1, Sep 6, 2017
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  10. bagsmom

    bagsmom

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    When do you do this? Right before frost time? I'm thinking in Ga, I would do it in November?
     
    bagsmom, Sep 6, 2017
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  11. bagsmom

    mrsclem mrsclem

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    I wait till we have had a couple of good hard frosts before I cut mine back. Last year I did them in September and they kept on growing. We had a mild winter and I had leaves coming up all winter.
     
    mrsclem, Sep 6, 2017
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  12. bagsmom

    Gordo33

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    Ok I guess I will have to toughen up and take a dip in the cold water come October. Hopefully we get a sunny and warm day .(y)
     
    Gordo33, Sep 7, 2017
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  13. bagsmom

    Lisak1

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    I do it as late as possible. Sometimes they do continue to grow if the weather stays warm longer. It's really not too big of an issue - those pads will die and rot, but it won't cause any harm as there are so few and they tend to stay small.
     
    Lisak1, Sep 7, 2017
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  14. bagsmom

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    This body does not go swimming in October. I grab them with my pole grabber and drag to the edge of the pond.
     
    addy1, Sep 7, 2017
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    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    I have tied thick trimmer string to my pots and can haul them up or move them whenever I need to. In the spring, I pull them up and tuck the strings alongside the pot on its shelf.
     
    brokensword, Sep 7, 2017
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  16. bagsmom

    tbendl T

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    I trim back my bog and cover the pond through fall and then just leave everything running during the winter.
     
    tbendl, Sep 11, 2017
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  17. bagsmom

    sissy sissy

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    Winter in Mississippi You must freeze your buns off ;):)Sorry just can't imagine it .
     
    sissy, Sep 11, 2017
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  18. bagsmom

    tbendl T

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    Hey I was outside in my winter coat this morning. It got pretty scary at 64.
     
    tbendl, Sep 11, 2017
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  19. bagsmom

    sissy sissy

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    64 oh my gosh o_O:LOL::LOL::ROFLMAO:What do you do if it gets down to 4 degrees .HIBERNATE :LOL:
     
    sissy, Sep 11, 2017
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  20. bagsmom

    tbendl T

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    download (1).jpg
     
    tbendl, Sep 11, 2017
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