North America's 1.5 million ponds aren't just for fishing — they prevent erosion, cool their immediate surroundings, and can be used to recycle greywater from septic tanks, boost energy efficiency, and promote biodiversity.
Although nature does a good job at keeping pond ecosystems in balance, ponds can grow unhealthy over time, exhibiting symptoms such as:
Fortunately, even if your pond shows all of the symptoms above, there's still hope! Although restoring your pond might not be an overnight task, it's worth the effort.
1. Wait Until This Time of Year for Pond Remediation
No matter when you remediate your pond, you're bound to disrupt existing wildlife to some extend. However, experts recommend restoring ponds between November and January.
Pond remediation shouldn't be a yearly task. Go into the pond restoration process with the intention of not remediating your pond for at least a decade, if not longer!
2. Draining Isn't Always Necessary
When restoring neglected ponds, many pond owners want to start from scratch. After all, that's what's recommended for restoring pretty much everything else that's dirty — getting them squeaky clean — right?
Completely draining ponds ruins their natural balance of microorganisms, plants, and animals. This step is generally reserved for ponds that are completely unsalvageable and have been neglected for years on end.
If the water is reasonably clear, don't bother draining it. If it's murky, drain away! Leave at least some water behind — anywhere between one-third and one-sixth of the pond's original contents. While the water's low, scoop out the grime at the bottom.
3. Cover Part of the Surface With Plants
Experts recommend covering at least 50% to 75% of pond surfaces with plants. Water lillies are a fan favorite among pond caretakers. They look nice, grow quickly, and offer easy surface coverage. Although they can crowd out small ponds, you can easily control their growth by trimming them.
Make sure to never introduce invasive species to your pond. These plants will compete with native plants until they're knocked out of contention, ruining your pond's ecological balance.
Always select plants that are well-suited for your area based on the USDA's Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
For plant ideas, check out this list or reach out to pond management companies in Florida.
Lastly, make sure your pond has several marginal plants. These plants, which surround the edges of ponds, are an essential component of every pond's ecosystem.
4. Don't Use Chemicals
Although various chemicals are advertised as effective pond cleaners, they're often poisonous to wildlife. Avoid using chemicals during the pond restoration process, opting for natural remedies wherever possible.
Though these aren't the only ways to restore your pond, these four suggestions are a great place to start. If your pond still isn't in good shape after trying these suggestions, you can always turn to pond management companies in Florida for help.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.