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Spring Cleaning for Your Water Feature: A Refreshing Start

Updated: Feb 29

Spring heralds a time of renewal and rejuvenation, not just for your garden but also for the water features that enhance its beauty. As the days get longer and nature awakes, your backyard pond or fountain requires some attention to ensure it remains a focal point of relaxation and natural elegance throughout the year. This concise guide will walk you through the essential steps of cleaning out your backyard water feature this spring, from sludge removal to aquatic plant care.

Step 1: Sludge Be Gone

Winter can be tough on ponds and water features. Decaying plant matter, fish waste, and other organic materials accumulate at the bottom, forming a layer of sludge. This muck not only looks unsightly but can also affect the water quality and overall health of your aquatic ecosystem.

Start by draining the water feature. A sump pump can expedite this process, allowing you to remove water quickly. Once drained, take a moment to remove any debris, such as leaves and twigs, that have found their way into your pond. Now, it's time to tackle the sludge. Using a trash pump or a simple scoop, remove as much of the sludge as possible. This will give your water feature a clean slate for the season ahead.

Step 2: Divide and Conquer Aquatic Plants

Spring is the perfect time to divide and replant aquatic plants. Over time, these plants can become overgrown, leading to crowding and reduced water flow. Gently lift the plants from the pond, and use a sharp knife to divide them, ensuring each new section has a portion of roots.

Replanting in a gravel substrate and placing them in suitable containers or directly on the pond's planting shelves can rejuvenate your water feature's aesthetic and ecological balance. Remember to trim any dead or dying foliage to promote healthy growth.

Step 3: Setting the Scene with Rocks

Rocks and pebbles play a crucial role in the natural beauty and functionality of your water feature. After cleaning, it's an opportune time to rearrange or add new stones to enhance the visual appeal and provide more stable grounds for plants and wildlife.

Carefully place larger stones around the edges for a natural look, and use smaller pebbles to fill gaps. This not only secures plant roots, but also helps with water filtration by trapping smaller debris and creating more surface area for the beneficial biology to colonize on.

Step 4: Filter Through the Spring

The heart of a balanced water feature is its filtration system. Begin by dismantling the filter and removing any debris clogging the mechanism. Wash or replace the filter media as recommended by the manufacturer. For biological filters, ensure that the beneficial bacteria culture, crucial for a healthy pond ecosystem, is not entirely wiped out during cleaning.

Reassemble the filter system and reconnect any pumps or water circulation devices. These steps will ensure your water feature's water remains clear and healthy, providing a serene environment for plants and wildlife.

A Fresh Start

As you refill your pond or fountain, consider treating the water to remove chlorine or other chemicals harmful to aquatic life. Reintroducing plants and, if applicable, fish, should be done gradually to allow them to acclimate to the fresh, clean environment.

Spring cleaning your backyard water feature sets the stage for a season of growth, beauty, and tranquility. By removing sludge, dividing aquatic plants, setting rocks, and cleaning filters, you're not just maintaining a piece of your garden; you're nurturing a living, breathing ecosystem that will reward you with its serene beauty all year round. Happy cleaning, and here's to a splendid spring!

Call us today to get your water feature scheduled for cleaning! 503-678-7744 or email


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