A few leaves falling into a backyard pond is not a problem. Some leaves actually add to the health of a pond’s ecosystem.
However. If your pond is surrounded by deciduous trees, autumn’s storm of foliage are leaves of a different color.
Too much debris collecting at the bottom of a water feature will leave sludge on its floor. Over time, the build up can become so thick it can affect the pond’s depth and alter the water quality.
What to do?
If you’re a naturalist, you might hope Mother Nature and beavers could come to the rescue. Their flat tails, acting as shovels, could have that sludge dug up and turned into a beaver lodge before you can say TIMBER!
Alas, the rodents disappeared from Long Island long ago. Anyway they would gnaw through those precious deciduous trees that dropped the leaves in the first place.
But Deck and Patio suggests a simpler alternative — cute as beaver’s buck teeth may be. Simple pond netting, put up in advance of peak autumn foliage, will capture the leaves and other debris.
“Of course it’s best to put up the netting before the leaves drop,” says Deck and Patio’s Dave Stockwell. “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.”
Dave adds that if you’ve had some buildup, there are natural pond cleaners that will break down accumulation from previous years.
Along with covering your swimming pool at the end of summer, it is helpful in due course to put up pond netting to collect foliage debris; nets also offer an extra layer of safety for your pond fish by protecting them from birds and other animals.
Aquascape’s Dave Kelly suggests tenting the net so it won’t sag into the pond when its full of leaves. Photo: Aquascape Inc.
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.
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.