Fountain & Pre-Cast Care
Please note all cast stone products require proper winter care. Proper maintenance is necessary to protect your product from the freeze-thaw cycles that occur in the winter. Damage can occur to anything that can hold water, snow or ice such as a fountain, planter or birdbath top. Damage can occur to anything that sits directly on the ground, such as a statue, birdbath base, planter or bench leg. To minimize possible winter damage, please follow the suggestions listed below.
CONCRETE & GLAZED PLANTERS
If you have any planters left out over winter, raise them off the ground with two pressure-treated wood strips, ensuring there’s no blockage of drainage holes. This will allow the soil to drain and prevent the planter from freezing to the ground. If a planter sits directly on the ground through several freeze-thaw cycles, it may block proper soil drainage, leading to soil expansion and a cracked, crumbling or flaking planter.
If you’re not planting in your planter over the winter, we suggest storing it in a garage/shed or on a covered porch away from the elements. If you’re leaving an unplanted planter outside over winter, we suggest you remove all soil, turn the planter upside down onto pressure-treated wood strips and cover it with a tarp. This should prevent moisture from getting into the planter.
BIRDBATHS, FOUNTAINS, BENCHES & STATUARY
Don’t leave birdbaths and fountain tops full of water in the winter since they are likely to freeze and crack. Raise all birdbath and fountain bases, bench legs and statuary off the ground for the winter season to avoid freezing to the ground. If you wish to leave water for wildlife over the winter, you can purchase a floating bird bath heater.
POLYETHYLENE PLANTERS & STATUARY
Polyethylene planters and statuary resist extreme temperature fluctuations. To determine if they can stay outside during winter, consult the manufacturer.
It is not necessary to drain your garden pond over the winter months, but some preventative maintenance gives you a nice head start in the spring. As temperatures start to drop, remove twigs, leaves, or other fall debris from your pond. Leaving these items can cause an altered pond pH and briny water, which requires a cleaning in the spring. If heavy leaf litter is an issue, consider netting your pond. If your pond contains any hardy water plants, snip them back at the crown as the leaves die, and lower them to the deepest part of your pond. Move non-cold hardy plants, such as tropicals, into a greenhouse or store as dormant tubers in a basement. Dispose of any floating plants. If your pond contains a water pump, follow the winter storage suggestions outlined below in the bubbler section.
BUBBLER WATER FEATURES
Pond and bubbler water pumps require winter storage in a heated location to prevent damage that can lead to a costly replacement. November is a good time to pull the pump out of the basin and store it fully submerged in a five-gallon bucket of water. Store the submerged pump in a garage or basement where it won’t freeze. Check periodically to ensure the water level remains high enough and top off the bucket as necessary. If the water becomes stagnant, add a few tablespoons of bleach.
It’s not necessary to drain the basin of your bubbler water feature over winter.
Most water features installed by Rice’s come with an autofill feature tied into your irrigation system. This should be blown out each fall to prevent pipes from rupturing during freezing water expansion. Read more information on winterizing your irrigation system here. Rice’s is not responsible for any damage due to weather conditions.
Rice’s Estate Landscape Management offers efficient, full-service landscape maintenance. Contact us today to get started.