Making a frog pond in northern climates?

Not necessarily. We are talking about wet spots in a lawn, not vast floodplain wetland complexes. It depends on the situation. In many cases, just discontinuing mowing will allow a wetland to ‘restore’, especially if you also yank up any invasive plants that appear. Planting a few wetland plants native to the area may be necessary depending on the seed source. If the site has heavy hydrologic disturbance like ditches or french drains, that does get a bit more complicated, but if you are already lookign at a wet spot, messing with that stuff is not needed. Conversely, creating a pond requires making a big hole, making sure it continues to hold water, and if you want to keep it a pond usually dredging it. Keeping the ecology and water quality of artificial ponds also appears to be pretty hard. And you have to deal with mosquitoes in a pond which you don’t if a restored wetland doesn’t have standing water. of course, a tiny pond or pool is going to be easier.


On older article with some interesting insights about ponds in winter:
Big freeze and ice is 'good for pond life’

I’ve seen several articles that discourage breaking the ice because of the shock waves it creates - suggesting that this can stress or injure animals. Have not seen any research to support or refute these claims.


I don’t break the ice on my pond. Mostly because it’s cold outside and I’m lazy. Doesn’t seem to be a problem as I still see tadpoles under the ice and all the melting and refreezing thanks to our crazy weather renews enough oxygen.

the local amphibians are adapted to the local climate (aside from climate change issues) and some species can literally freeze solid with no ill effects. Breaking ice seems like a really bad idea, as it is climate change reduces the consistency and duration of ice cover causing stress to organisms and allowing access for predators. If anything you’d want to encourage more ice, not less, unless you are trying to keep exotic species in there which is a whole other topic.

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