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How can I keep leaves out of my pond? – Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

How can I keep leaves out of my pond?

How can I keep leaves out of my pond? Rick – Birds, IL

This Tent’s Not for Camping

You may not want to admit it yet, but the summer season is coming to a close. While we love the mild weather and the changing colors of the trees, us water garden owners have to turn our attention to the falling leaves. No worries however, we have one simple tool that you can use to avoid having to deal with leaves falling into your water garden.

We are of course talking about pond netting. If you dealt with Herons in the summer you may already have a pond net on hand. While they are great for keeping unwanted predators out of your pond they are more commonly used for keeping leaves and other blowing debris from falling in. There are two basic styles of pond netting you can purchase. The most simplistic version of this being a pre cut piece of mesh netting. This netting is available in an Economy Grade which is ideal for single season use or a Heavy Duty version. You can pull this mesh tight across the surface of your pond and secure it using stakes or rocks. This application works well for water gardens that may receive minimal amounts of debris. If you are in a heavily wooded area or are prone to massive amounts of debris you will be better off utilizing a Pond Protector Net Kit that implements a domed design to better protect your pond. The netting included with the kit extends beyond the tent-style frame allowing you to pull netting along the contours of your pond so there are no gaps left open for debris to enter.

Keeping leaves out of your pond in the fall will help keep the pond clean and manageable going into the colder seasons and will ensure a faster, easier cleanout and start up next season. Leaves left in the pond to decompose tend to create “tea-colored” water due to the tannins they release in the decomposition process. You can fill Media Bags with Activated Carbon and place them in your filter boxes to help clear the water if this happens to you. Also continue to use Nature’s Defense® and Muck Defense® to manage the muck left behind by decomposing leaves and fish waste. As water temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit you can switch from Nature’s Defense® and Muck Defense® to Seasonal Defense®. Seasonal Defense® is a cool water natural bacteria that will continue the decomposition process throughout the fall and winter.

POND TALK: Do you fight to keep leaves out of your pond in the Fall? Has a pond net helped make your end of season ponding easier and more enjoyable?

Keep the leaves out!

2 Responses

  1. Dear Mr. Pondguy, I am looking for information on keeping a pond with a filter going over the winter and I came across your blog. It is very informative, and I very much appreciate you sharing your knowledge. I hope you may be able to help me. I live in lower Michigan, and my daughter brought home a little orphan Mallard duckling. That was nearly seven years ago and she (Marilyn…the duck) still chooses to live in our backyard, and play with our yellow Labrador Retriever. She is a very unique duck. About three years ago, she was attacked by a cat who jumped down on her from a stone wall that she was sleeping under during the night and she nearly died, but made a full recovery. So, now, to protect her during the night when she is sleeping, we put her in a pen. A friend is helping me to make a new pen for Marilyn, and I wanted to replace her little swimming pool with a pond built into the new pen. It would only be about 3 feet wide and 5 feet front to back, and about 18 inches deep…just enough for her to splash around in. I would like to keep the water from freezing during the cold weather, and keep it filtered over the winter, but have never actually had a pond with filtering system, and wanted to ask you if you think this is fesible? I am a beginner to all this, so please explain in simple terms if you have any helpful information to offer. I know I will have to get a deicer or heater (like I use for my birdbath), or maybe they make filters with a heating unit in them? What kind of a filter would be best, and how big or strong must it be, and about how much will it cost to run one through the winter? The biggest need for a filter is that ducks poop in the water (it is liquid, and should filter out, I think), and we usually change her wading pool water about every three or four days, but obviously cannot keep a wading pool from freezing over the winter, and so we have kept a very large heated dog bowl in her pen for her to drink from up to this point. However she likes to try to bathe and splash in it, and it is inadequate for that, so that is why I am thinking about a winter water filtered pond in her pen for her. Any information or advice you could offer me, I would so appreciate. The pen with pond will be in a protected area, next to a garage and wood fence, and we can modify whatever we need to in order to keep Marilyn from getting injured from any sucking piping or anything. Thank you very much for any help you can offer (it would be great if you could even recommend a brand of filter or deicer that would be best or you think would work well, and how much to expect to pay for them, etc. Thank you. Sincerely, Kim

    • Kim,
      What an interesting story about your Mallard duckling and its good fortune to be found by your daughter. Duck ponds are a challenge to keep clean. The duck waste dissolves in the water and does need to be changed frequently to maintain a healthy environment for your duck. Filtering this type of pond would be difficult and a better solution would be to use a pump at the bottom of the pond to pump out the fouled water and then add fresh water as needed.

      Keeping an aeration system with air stones, running 24/7 during the winter will keep the pond open and be less costly than running a heater that actually heats the water. A de-icer will only keep a hole open on the surface of the pond, but would not make the water accessible for your duck.

      Based on the dimensions that you provided, I estimate that your completed pond would be approximately 150 gallons. I have provided a link to our Pond Guy web site for examples of aeration systems that I had mentioned.



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