Thank you for purchasing your new statuary from Herbein’s Garden Center. To ensure that your items last through the years, we would like to share with you some basic care and maintenance tips that will prolong its life.
Fountain Maintenance While Operating Your Fountain
Always operate your fountain with the pump fully submersed in water. Do not let your pump run dry. Low water levels in your fountain au cause pump burnout. Check your fountain’s water level frequently. You may need to add water to your fountain every day or every week, depending on the fountain, to maintain levels and to keep the water from stagnating.
Keep your fountain clean. Weekly cleaning is recommended. Remove leaves and debris that may enter the fountain. To control the growth of algae DO NOT use a chlorine-based product as they can damage the finish on the fountain. Use a water clarifier and algaecide. You can also use products that contain natural enzymes which safely break down organic contaminates. Natural enzymes are not a chemical and may take longer to work. Before adding any cleaning product in your fountain, always start with fresh clean water.
Aquatic plants and fish are not recommended in your fountain. Plant roots will clog the pump and most ornamental fountains are not deep enough to support fish.
Urn and Planter Maintenance
Urns and planters should not hold water. Water should drain through the drain holes that are in them. Keep the drain holes open. When water does not drain, it may kill your plants and/or cause cracks in your planter. To encourage proper drainage, we recommend the following. First, place a piece of weed barrier inside the planting cavity completely covering the bottom of the urn or planter. Second, place a layer of stone on top of the weed barrier; the size of stone should be larger than the diameter of the drain hole, about 1/3 of the depth of the planting cavity of the urn or planter. Third, completely cover the stone layer with another piece of weed barrier. Next fill the urn or planter with the soil of your choice to the desired height. Finally, plant your flowers. During winter weather raise the urn or planter off the ground using two wood strips. This will prevent the urn or planter from freezing to the ground. Be careful not to block the drain holes.
It is important to understand that proper winter care is required for any concrete, fiberglass, resin, or stone statuary to protect them from the freeze-thaw cycles that occur during the winter.
Any piece which can hold water, snow, or ice – such as a planter, birdbath/fountain top or bench leg – can be damaged by the winter freeze – thaw cycles that occur in our area. To minimize any possible winter damage, please follow the simple suggestions listed below:
Winterizing Your Fountain
Freezing water expands and can cause cracks to form in concrete and other materials. Before the first frost you should winterize your fountain to protect it.
First, remove all the water from the fountain shells and any parts of the fountain that will hold water. A wet-vac works well for removing the water completely. If your fountain has drain plugs, remove them to drain the water. Collect all the plugs and keep in a bag to store. Leave the bag in the fountain so you can find them next spring. You will need to insert the drain plugs back into the fountain in the spring when you start up your fountain. The pump can remain in the fountain.
This is a perfect time to clean your fountain. Remove the drain plugs. Let the water drain, remove the leaves and any other debris by hand, Squirt the debris/mud that accumulates in the shells of the fountain with your garden hose. Never use harsh chemicals or stiff brushes as they will harm the finish. While the shells of the fountain are still damp use a mild soap and a sponge to clean any dirt that may have accumulated during use. Rinse with clean water and wipe with a sponge until the water is removed.
Second, if your fountain has a copper fountain ring disconnect the copper ring and store indoors. There is water in the copper ring so be careful not to get wet when you remove it. These copper rings are highly sensitive to winter weather and the elements. The spray heads are very fragile. Always handle a copper fountain ring with extreme care.
Third, if you have a fountain lighting system installed in your fountain carefully remove the string of LED lights and the transformer and store indoors for the winter. The jumper wires that run inside the fountain can be left in the fountain.
Finally, it is time to place the cover over the fountain. Be sure the fountain is dry before you cover it. Center your cover on the fountain. Carefully tighten the drawstrings so that the cover opening is smaller than the bottom shell of the fountain. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN. Grab the cover from the top and lift the cover up until the cover opening touches the bottom of the shell. While holding the cover above the fountain with one hand, grab the cover with your other hand just above the top piece of the fountain. At this point, you will tie off the cover with a piece of rope. Doing this will custom fit the cover to your fountain. After your fountain is covered DO NOT allow water to re-enter the fountain, DO NOT allow water, snow, or ice to collect on top of the cover. Through the winter check your fountain to make sure the cover is secure, and water or ice has not collected on the fountain cover. You will want to keep your fountain free of water, ice, and condensation. Please note that Herbein’s Garden Center is not responsible for damage to products due to freezing temperatures or seasonal weather conditions.
Bird Bath Winter Maintenance
If a bird bath is left outdoors when the temperature drops below freezing, ice can form inside the birdbath, which may damage the finish and/or possibly crack the birdbath. To prevent ice damage, you should consider storing your birdbath indoors in a garage or shed. If you leave your birdbath outdoors during winter weather, turn the top over so water does not collect in it. So not allow the pedestal to sit in a pool of ice or freeze to the ground. During the winter weather, raise your birdbath off the ground using two wood strips. This will prevent the birdbath from freezing to the ground. One good way from keeping them from freezing to the ground is to install the birdbath or statuary on a piece of flagstone.
Thank you and enjoy your new statuary.
Herbein’s Garden Center
4301 Chestnut Street
Emmaus, PA 18049