“Fall foliage will soon be at its peak here on Long Island and many backyard ponds are located near an abundance of these deciduous trees,” says Bill Renter, Deck and Patio’s Outdoor Living Expert. “Even when not immediate to your pond, fallen leaves from nearby trees can make it into your pond. So you’ll want to use a pond net to keep them from accumulating in your stream or pond’s water.”
Indeed, undesirable debris can create a build up of muck on the bottom of your pond and change the water’s pH balance, turning the water murky. For one thing, during winter when the water is colder, the natural bacteria that usually maintains the pond’s balance isn’t active enough to handle it all.
“It’s best to put up the netting before the leaves drop; however, if some leaves have already fallen in, a long-handle pond net can be used to scoop out the debris before covering it with the net,” says Bill.
Dave Kelly at Aquascapes Inc. (St. Charles, IL) adds that you can tent the net, so it doesn’t sag into the pond when it gets weighted with leaves.
Kelly also suggests trimming back and removing dead foliage from aquatic plants to help remove excessive organic material that would otherwise decompose in the water feature.
“When spring comes, you’ll be really happy you took the time to do these few steps,” says Bill. “You’ll have greatly diminished spring pond maintenance, which means you’ll be enjoying a pristine pond sooner — with so much less effort.”
Pond nets can keep out even the smallest pieces of debris such as falling leaves and pine needles. We recommend netting from Aquascape Inc. (St. Charles, IL) which includes hold-down staples to secure it.
Aquascape’s Dave Kelly suggests tenting the net so it won’t sag into the pond when its full of leaves. Photo: Aquascape Inc.
Along with covering your swimming pool at the end of summer, it is helpful to put up pond netting to collect debris; nets also offer an extra layer of safety for your pond fish by protecting them from birds and other animals.
If you take a few precautions in the fall, come spring you will be delighted at how much less maintenance will be required in order to have clear pristine water.
Backyard Water Features in Fall:
Watching leaves moving along a backyard stream is as peaceful an activity as you can find. If there’s only one or two — just sit back and enjoy the scene! But don’t let too many leaves collect in your backyard water features. Photo: Aquascape Inc.