Your pond is not a bath

Your pond is not a bath
Your pond is not a bath!

Now is the season for autumnal advice about ponds, advising us to clean out our ponds.

Two examples, both from highly reputable sources:

– ‘Start removing dead leaves and debris from plants early in the autumn to avoid decomposing vegetation building up in the pond.’

– ‘During autumn, falling leaves should be skimmed off the pond surface before they sinkand overload the nutrient balance of the pond.’

But its quite natural for leaves to fall into water. It’s been happening for a very long time – presumably as long as there have been ponds and trees, and many pond animals make use of those falling leaves.

Leaves don’t contain a lot of nutrients when they fall into the water – trees sensibly remove most of the nutrients from leaves before they shed them – so they don’t add a lot of nutrients either.

And leaves give both food and shelter for animals (see Leave leaves), and may help keep algae under control.

So before you get out the Vim and scourer – check whether you’re in the garden or the bathroom.

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