If you have a fountain in your home garden then there are a few things you can do to keep it working beautifully for many years. Fountain maintenance doesn’t need to be a chore. In fact, it’s pretty low effort compared to many gardening tasks. Keep up on the fountain maintenance and it will provide you with endless enjoyment.
Keep the Water Clean
Keep on top of the maintenance throughout the year by keeping the water clean. Drain and replace the water in your fountain monthly; or more often if it doubles as a bird bath. Many people with home fountains like to use additives like algaecide and enzymes. I personally use just a tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a small fountain to keep the water clean as well as being safe for insects and birds.
Use a sponge with a scouring pad and a little dish soap to scrub the inside of the basin when it feels slippery to the touch. The slippery feeling means that there are organisms starting to grow inside the fountain walls even if you can’t see them. You can easily test this out during the monthly water change.
It’s all in the Pump
Your fountain may be a stunning beauty but it’s the pump that does all of the work! Maintaining the water pump for your fountain is an easy task, and one worth remembering. Clean the pump thoroughly in the fall before putting it away for winter storage, or use these tips to give the pump a good cleaning if you have let the water get grungy.
- Soak the pump in a bucket of vinegar and water for a few hours to loosen the grime. Use a cloth to wipe away the residue after the vinegar treatment.
- Remove any of the parts that you can, and use a toothbrush with dish soap to clean them.
- Clean the pump by cycling a bucket of clean water through it. Keep cycling clean water through the pump until the water runs clear.
- Replace any damaged parts or hoses.
Winterizing the Fountain
To prepare for winter, fountains should be drained, pumps removed, and cleaned well. Store the pump indoors over winter and add it back to the fountain when you set it up again in spring. Most fountains are made ruggedly enough to stay out in the elements without special care, but if you have a small decorative fountain you can extend its life by moving it into the garage or shed for the winter. Leave the fountain uncovered and enjoy how the structure looks in the garden over winter.
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