Koi pond with lily pads and fish that has been spring cleaned

Opening Your Garden Pond in the Spring

Step 1.  In March or early April, remove the netting used to cover your pond during the winter.


Step 2.  This is the time to place your plants in the proper areas of your pond for the growing season. Please refer to our ‘Aquatic Plant Care’ Tip Sheet for information on plant placement. Start fertilizing your plants with aquatic plant fertilizer. By now, you should see new green shoots growing in most pots. Don’t worry if you don’t see growth from every plant at this point!


Step 3.  Remove sediment from the bottom of the pond (leaves, etc. that may have slipped through the netting) with a fish net. This should be a quick and easy step, provided that the pond was properly cleaned and netted in the fall. If not, refer to the cleaning process outlined in the ‘Winterizing Your Pond In The Fall’ tip sheet.


Step 4.  If you have a pond pump, and have removed it for the winter, place it back in the pond for spring and summer use.


Step 5.  If there has been evaporation over the winter, add water to the pond to fill it to the top. Add de-chlorinator to the water, as necessary, based upon the amount of new water added.


Step 6.  When the water temperature starts warming, your fish will become more active. You can start feeding them floating fish food. Refer to question #25 in the ‘Common Questions About Water Gardening’ tip sheets for information on feeding your fish.


Your pond is now ready for the growing season. We wish you “Happy Water Gardening”!


To achieve a naturally balanced pond, it is necessary to have 2/3 of your pond surface covered with plants (lilies, hyacinths, water lettuce) along with the correct amount of oxygenating plants (hornwort) on the bottom of the pond, based on surface area. When the above-listed plants grow enough to do their jobs, your pond water will become clear. This formula rarely fails if it is executed properly. If your pond water is not clearing up after 4-6 weeks, you likely need to add more surface coverage plants and/or more oxygenating plants.


Even though your pond may be crystal clear upon opening, it is common in the spring for it to develop an algae bloom (green water). Do not panic! This is a very normal process that can happen every spring. While the plants are getting started with spring growth, many additives, both natural and chemical, are available to help you achieve clear water quicker.


All products and accessories discussed in this tip sheet are available at Aquatic & Garden Decor.

Download the PDF version of this tip sheet for easy printing.