|California waterscapes are exposed to a wide range of weather conditions. A water escape in California can experience grueling 128 degree temperatures in the summer months throughout the Coachella Valley, while our local mountains can expect night time lows well below freezing in the winter.
California waterscapes are also exposed to the wonderful weather conditions of our coastal communities, where a backyard waterscape never experiences a true winter. Water temperatures can maintain a range of 65 to 85 degrees year round.
Compared to the rest of the country, especially the northern states, our pond care routines are quite simple. We don’t have to worry about shutting down the pond in preparation for winter, because our pond season can be year round. While we don’t have to worry about draining and removing filters, and UV clarifiers, we do have to do some maintenance more frequently.
Typical pond care for California waterscapes is trimming and thinning plants three times a year, while in Wyoming, plants may only need trimming once a year.
California waterscapes need a deep spring clean, involving draining and rinsing the entire water feature, repotting aquatic plants, checking light bulbs, and cleaning all filters and skimmers. While this same routine is fine for northern states such as Minnesota, California waterscapes will need a follow up cleaning in fall. This is a less invasive cleaning, with only a partial water change, although plant trimming and thinning and filter cleaning still need to be thorough.
Water Treatments for California Waterscapes
Water treatments for California waterscapes are also a bit different from our northern neighbors. During the warm months, weekly additions of specially formulated The Pond Digger All Season Beneficial Bacteria, helps break down plant debris, and eat fish waste and excess fish food that settles on the pond floor. These weekly additions help keep your pond in tip top shape all year, with amazing water quality and clarity. As fall hits, we switch to The Pond Digger Cold Temperature Beneficial Bacteria.
The inland empire, and desert communities will continue to use cold temperature beneficial bacteria throughout the winter, while some beach communities never even switch from all season beneficial bacteria.
In the warm months, we also use Pond Digger liquid beneficial bacteria, which is specifically formulated to help boost filtration on your pond. We use it for ponds with a heavy fish load, and after large water changes, and after the spring and fall clean outs.
While summer bacteria additions are the same for northern states, once fall and winter hit, Maine, and other northern states stop adding any bacteria to their ponds. In fact, they typically shut their ponds down entirely, pulling filters and pumps inside, running just an aerator to keep the pond from icing over completely.
Aquatic Plants for your Waterscape in California
Aquatic plants in California waterscapes throughout the state, can run out of control if not trimmed and thinned on a regular basis. This includes booth ponds and disappearing waterfalls. We suggest trimming and thinning three times a year during the growing season, roughly from April through October. This will help keep your plants looking their best too, as they won’t get leggy and messy looking.
California waterscapes also have the fun benefit of both summer and winter season plants. Water lilies, the most sought-after pond plant, produces it leaves and spectacular blooms from spring until fall, and then goes dormant until the next spring. The same happens with most of the aquatic plants that are active and blooming during the summer.
The exciting news for California waterscapes is that we have winter plants too! Northern states do not get to experience the fun and beauty of wintertime aquatic plants in their iced over ponds. Except in the very coldest weather, we have several species of aquatic plants that will grow leaves and even produce blooms in the winter months.
Check out water cress, water Hawthorne, brass buttons, and monkey flower. All of these will produce blooms in addition to leaves, brightening up the grey days of winter in your California waterscape.