Pond silt and sludge
Clearing pond silt and sludge:
- Autumn is the best time of year to remove some of the silt or sludge at the bottom of the pond.
- It has been caused by plant debris dropping to the pond floor and accumulating there.
- If you have had Frogbit - Hydrocharis morsus ranae in your pond this Summer please check back to our recent post and make sure you rescue some before carrying on with this task.
- Drag a fine mesh dipping net across the bottom and lift the silt out.
- Check the net for creatures and replace them in the water
- Most wildlife will have left the pond for a Winter on land.
- Check carefully for dragonfly larvae that remain in ponds for years.
- Do not be paranoid - you do not need to remove all the silt - some overwintering creatures like Great Diving Beetles will bury into it.
- See our Tips and Advice page for more details: Winter in the wildlife pond
- Some silt will be a source of nutrient for waterlilies next year.
- To stop this layer building up to a number of inches thick and becoming a smelly area
- Too much sludge and silt can cause a reduction in oxygen in the pond over Winter.
- To avoid the need for a major upheaval and removal of all the pond water.
- Regularly remove leaves and vegetation from your pond and do not allow a compost heap to build up on the base
- You will be able to avoid a total clear out of the pond water for many years.
Little and often is the motto with pond maintenance.