How to Care for Your Outdoor Water Fountains

Garden lovers around the world love putting fountains among their flowers, plants, bushes and shrubs. And with the Christmas season upon us in the U.S., many garden lovers may get their very first fountain as a gift this year.

Fountains make wonderful gifts year round. They're beautiful to look at, and fit well with almost any landscape. They're also quite serene and have a wonderful calming effect. So if you're getting or giving an outdoor water fountain for a gift this year, here are a few caretaking tips you'll want to have on hand...

Many outdoor fountains are made of concrete, and concrete expands and contracts in cold weather. If at all possible, you should move your concrete fountain indoors for the winter.

If you're not able to move it indoors, check it frequently to see if there's water collecting in it. You should keep it completely dry during the winter months.

If your fountain will stay outdoors throughout the winter, you also need to remove the pump and store it indoors. Fill, wrap, or cover the fountain with blankets, burlap bags, tarp or other protective materials to help shield it from severe cold. Be sure you have the fountain covered entirely for maximum protection.

During warmer months, you'll want to clean debrise - leaves and twigs for example - from your fountain at least once each week. Take particular care to clear any debris from around the pump as well, so it doesn't clog.

Add a small touch of bleach or special algae removing solution to your fountain regularly, to keep the water clear and prevent residue or algae buildup around the sides. If your fountain is accessible to pets and animals: do not use bleach. Instead, be sure to use an animal friendly cleaner such as Microbe-Lift Fountain Clear.

Following these simple maintenance tips will help keep your outdoor fountains in tip top, beautiful condition for many years to come.

2004, Kathy Burns-Millyard. This article is provided courtesy of The Garden Water Fountains section of The Garden Source Network - You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice, the copyright notice, the author name and URL remain intact.

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