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We are conveniently located at 2530 Butler Street, Dallas, Texas 75235. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday 9:30 am - 5:00 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday. Call 214-956-7382 or send a fax to 214-351-2808.

We offer water feature products to suit every budget and lifestyle ... from small container water gardens to ecosystem ponds!
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Whether you plan on doing part of the work yourself or you are looking for full service design and installation, Water Gardens Galore will work with you from inspiration to installation to insure your vision is realized.


Winter Care for Your Temperate Climate Pond

October is time to think about preparing your water garden for winter. If you have deciduous trees near the feature, it is a good idea to cover your water with a net to prevent leaves from collecting in the pond. Should this approach prove to be impractical, either skim out the leaves every couple of days or use a spa vacuum to gather them from the bottom. It is important to eliminate the leaves, as well as the nuts from pecan and oak trees (they contain acids that will harm the fish and stain your water either black or brown.

If your pond needs a total drain and clean (due to excessive sludge buildup or neglect), then Fall is the best time to do it. Wait until the leaves have fallen from the trees before you undertake the total cleaning. If this is the pond's first season, it is not necessary to take part in the ritual; although, depending on when the system was setup, there may be a need to divide the plants.

To accomplish a total clean, drain all of your water, collect the fish and house them in containers (buckets and tubs work well), set your plants aside to divide and re-pot, vacuum out all the debris that has collected at the bottom, add the proper amount of chlorine remover and begin filling the pond with new water (it is best to add chlorine remover at 15 to 20 minute intervals, instead of all at once.)

Allow the fish to float (in their containers in the pond) while you are refilling the feature. This will let them adjust to any changes in water temperature (expect the fish to float for 30-45 minutes.) Test the water pH to ensure there is not a drastic change between the new and the old water. You will need to lower the pH if there is a difference larger than 5%. Mix the new water with the water in the containers 2 to 3 times before you release the fish. Net your fish out of the containers and dump the old water in your flower beds or lawn.

When dividing and repotting underwater plants, use pots that do not have holes in them. Heavy clay soil works best for the planting medium (cat litter without additives may be used.) Fill the pots 3/4 with loose soil and pack it down firmly to remove air pockets. Either ruse moist soil or saturate the pot with water. Apply the fertilizer and lightly cover with dirt. Prepare all pots before you start dividing. Pea gravel may be used for a medium if you use baskets or pots with holes in them. Never use potting soil or any light weight/organic planting medium. They ten to float and mess up the pond.

To divide most of the bog or marginal plants, mentally group the plants into smaller sections, separate the leaves or stems, and cut through the soil with a hand shovel, trowel or knife (you may need a saw or shovel to take on larger plants.) Bog or marginal plants are to be centered in the pot. Stand them upright, anchor the roots with soil, and spread gravel to cover.

A hardy lily may be divided by locating the best growing tip and cutting or snapping it off. If you desire more plants, continue severing tips. Give away or compost the excess. It is a good idea to keep your lilies sorted by variety as you divide them. To repot, place the growing tip of the lily with the cut end against the side of the pot. Slightly point the growth up (around a 45 degree angel.) Anchor the roots with soil and top off with a layer of gravel.

Lotus require special care when dividing. They have delicate root systems and do not take well to abuse. The root looks like a series of small "bananas" that are connected end-to-end. At least 2 complete (whole) connected "bananas" are needed for transplanting. Lay the root in the prepared pot and trace the outline in the soil. Remove the root and dig out a shallow trench (about 1/2" deep). Place the root in the depression and cover with soil. It is important not to "bury" the root too deeply (1" to 2" of soil.) Top off with gravel.

Transport the plants to the pond and slowly lower them into the water. This helps to avoid leaching soil and debris, as well as to allow excess air pockets in the soil to fill with water, and prevent the plants from uprooting or floating.

Tropical lilies are to be left alone until the spring.

Winter Reminders

  • Routine maintenance will still need to be done on pumps, filters and fountains.
  • In the winter, water at the surface of the pond is cooler than water at the bottom so raising the pump closer to the surface mixes water more effectively and provides a larger warn area for the fish.
  • Keep the pump and filter running. If a hard freeze is expected, disconnect the waterfall tubing from the pump (freezing water can chip away at the rock.) Elevate the pump to be sure the water flow breaks the surface. Inspect out-of-pond filters frequently during a hard freeze to avoid freezing.
  • Do not break up ice if it temporarily covers the water surface - prepare by putting empty plastic milk jugs or rubber balls in the water to create openings (trapped gasses may pose a problem only if the water remains frozen for several days.
  • Lower the plants to the deep end once there has been a killing frost or light freeze.
  • The Thanksgiving deadline covers discontinuing fertilization of plants (iris are the lone exception - continue to feed iris once a month.)
  • Bring cold sensitive plants inside if the winter is more severe than normal or if there is a hard freeze for a sustained period. If bringing plants inside is not possible, cover the pond with clear plastic to create a greenhouse effect.
  • Enjoy the short break the weather has to offer. Remember you have finished the toughest part of pond-keeping and can enjoy the spring days beside the garden rather than waist-deep in it.