Weatherford Democrat

Local News

December 8, 2013

ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Protecting backyard ponds, fish during winter

Here are this week’s gardening questions and answers, provided by Parker County Master Gardeners. To submit a question, send it to pcmgaquestions@gmail.com. For more information about Parker County Master Gardeners, or to become a member, call 817-598-6096 or visit www.pcmg-texas.org.

How do I winterize my backyard pond and protect my fish during the cold weather?

The first thing to do is stop feeding your fish. When the water temperature reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit and remains there for several days, the fish metabolism slows down and feeding them becomes harmful. Fish cannot digest their food because they do not have a stomach, just a long intestinal tract. The food simply stays in their digestive tract and rots, causing death. I have already stopped feeding my fish and tucked them in for winter.

I usually start decreasing the amount of food in early November. Then I watch the weather forecast and check the water temperature as the cold fronts come through. The warmest area of the pond is the bottom, so the fish will go there and stay until the temperature of the pond warms up in the spring. As the weather warms, you will notice the fish becoming more active; and that will be your sign to start feeding again.

Since fish are slow-moving in the winter, I recommend you add a large rock or other structure where they can go for protection from blue herons, raccoons and other predators. Most fish are colorful, and they can’t easily escape. If their enemy spots them, they are lunch. The rock will help conceal them.

The plants in my pond are hardy in Parker County and go dormant during winter. I have anacharis (Egeria densa), lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus) and water lilies (Nymphaea). As the foliage dies back, I remove it so that it doesn’t foul the water. My water lilies are hardy (not tropical), and I simply prune them back in the fall because they make a mess in the bottom of the pond. My pond is happy with these three plants but a larger pond could accommodate more.

I have placed a large black net over the pond to keep the falling leaves out. The net keeps the skimmer from being overloaded with leaves and keeps the pond clean. The net makes a huge difference in pond maintenance. Falling leaves will rot in the bottom of the pond and require draining and cleaning come spring.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0727 loc peaster ffa.jpg Peaster FFA students attend state convention

    The 86th Texas FFA Convention was recently held in Fort Worth. Peaster’s Hannah Ford completed her year of service as a state officer. 

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Parker County Heritage Society to meet Aug. 19

    Parker County Heritage Society will meet Aug. 19 in the home of Nathan and Abby Hamessely at 410 W. Spring St. at 7 p.m. 

    July 27, 2014

  • AgriLife to offer parenting classes Aug. 19, 21

    The Texas AgriLife Extension Service of Parker County will offer parenting classes on Aug. 19 and 21, 2014, at the Parker County Agricultural Services Center. The classes will be from 1-5 p.m. each day and will include lunch. The cost to attend the class is $10 per person for the two-day class. Scholarships are available.

    July 27, 2014

  • CASA receives national certification for its efforts

    WEATHERFORD – CASA Hope for Children of Parker and Palo Pinto County has just been awarded certification by the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association. This certification recognizes that CASA Hope for Children is in compliance with National CASA’s high standards for quality child advocacy.

    July 26, 2014

  • 0725 loc whs ffa.jpg Weatherford FFA attends state convention in Fort Worth

    Members from the Weatherford FFA chapter attended the 86th annual Texas FFA State Convention July 14-18 in Fort Worth.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • DAILY RECORD: Marriages and deaths

    Marriages and deaths recorded from July 16, 2014 to July 22, 2014. This information is being provided as a courtesy by the Parker County Clerk. Every effort is made to see that the information is correct and complete. The Parker County Clerk is not responsible should there be an error within the information provided.

    July 25, 2014

  • Dept. of State Health Services releases Aug. schedules

    Texas Department of State Health Services immunization clinics for August:

    July 24, 2014

  • 0723 loc WC upward bound.jpg Traveling the path to success

    Several factors aligned to set Louriann Villa on the path to success including a mother she considers a hero, the Weatherford College Upward Bound program and scholarship funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Weatherford DAR to host summer workshop

    Weatherford Chapter-DAR will be hosting the District II summer workshop with 94 members from across North Texas attending on Saturday, July 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Side Baptist Church.

    July 23, 2014

  • Painting with a Twist/Painting with a Purpose

    Looking for a fun night out? Join us for the Parker Paws Painting with a Purpose fundraiser from 7-9 p.m. 

    July 20, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating