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Having a pond in your yard can be a good thing and a bad thing sometimes. You might enjoy the ambiance of the pond and like looking out at it during certain times of the day.

Ponds can also make it more likely that you’ll have to take measures to protect against mosquitoes and other things such as that. Even so, many people absolutely love having natural ponds on their properties.

You likely have a lot of pond sludge (sometimes referred to as pond scum) that you need to get rid of due to having a pond. Some people have heard that pond sludge can be used in gardens, but is that really true?

Read on to learn about whether pond sludge is good for the garden or not. You’ll also learn about a few other uses for pond sludge that you might not have considered.

Pond Sludge Can Be Used in the Garden

You can indeed use pond sludge in the garden if you’d like to do so. This is because it is made up of living organisms and will be able to break down in your compost pile.

If you have a ton of pond sludge that needs to be used up, then you can simply compost it to turn it into viable fertilizer instead of just trying to get rid of it. Pond scum breaks down relatively quickly and is a fantastic source of nitrogen for your garden area.

You can use this pond sludge as a really good fertilizer that will help your plants to thrive. The pond sludge will give your plants potassium and phosphorus so that they can grow strong.

Many people with ponds will make fertilizer using the pond scum yearly. Typically, the spring is going to be a very convenient time to clean your pond up and get rid of pond scum.

You’ll be able to simply scoop the pond sludge up and place it in your compost bin where it will turn into fertilizer. This will help your pond to stay tidy and presentable while also giving you great fertilizer that you don’t need to go out to a store to buy.

Getting Rid of Pond Scum is Important

You don’t want to simply let the pond scum stay on top of your pond without doing anything. If you don’t clean the pond up properly each spring, then it’s going to look murky and it won’t be something that you’ll want to use.

The pond will wind up having pea-soup-colored water that isn’t exactly inviting. Many people want their pond areas to be as presentable as possible, and this is why they choose to clean the pond and skim the pond sludge away.

The overall process of cleaning the pond scum up isn’t that hard, but it’s just something that you need to remember to do. If you don’t do this, then your pond isn’t going to be nice and it might wind up being more of an eyesore.

Keep reading to learn a bit more about how you can turn pond sludge into compost reliably. Understanding the process makes it seem less daunting and you’re going to be prepared to make excellent garden fertilizer using pond sludge soon enough.

How to Compost Pond Sludge Properly

Composting pond sludge isn’t going to be difficult once you know how to approach things. The basic idea is to skim the pond scum off of the top of the pond and transfer it to your compost bin.

Most people are going to use pool skimmers or rakes to get this job done. Of course, if you have a very large pond in your backyard, it might be difficult to reach every spot this way.

You can gather all of the pond scum that you can by using a skimmer or a rake. Then you’ll be able to place the pond scum in a bucket or a wheelbarrow so that you can transport it where it needs to go.

Drain out the excess water before proceeding. This shouldn’t take too long, but you don’t want to add unnecessary water to the compost bin.

It’s said that you should check to see if the water is salty before moving forward. You can rinse the pond sludge with your hose before adding things to the compost bin if things are salty.

Getting a compost bin started is very simple as well. You just need to start with a layer of dead leaves or cardboard. Then you can place the pond scum along with other compost materials that are high in nitrogen content.

Pond scum can be composted along with things such as grass clippings, coffee grounds, and even old vegetable debris. Once you have everything in place, you’ll just need to turn the compost pile every so often.

It’s recommended to go out and turn the compost pile once each week. Eventually, the compost will be ready to be used as fertilizer in your garden area, thanks to your efforts.

Pond Scum Can Be Used to Make Potting Soil

Another use for pond scum involves using it to make potting soil. This is actually a good idea if you have plants that you need to pot that are in need of certain nutrients.

You can easily make high-quality potting soil using pond scum compost along with something such as perlite. It’s also possible to use coarse sand in lieu of perlite if you’d rather go that route.

This will give you a type of soil that will help your plants to do really well. If you need to make your own potting soil due to not having excellent natural soil in your area, then this is a useful little life hack.

It’ll ensure that your plants have the nutrient-rich soil that they need to be able to do well under your care. It’s very likely that you’ll have a substantial amount of pond sludge compost and this just allows you to use most of it up without it being a big deal.

Final Thoughts

Knowing everything that you need to know about pond sludge and using it as fertilizer should set your mind at ease. You won’t need to be so worried about things now since you know what needs to be done.

Each spring, you’re going to want to take the time to clean your pond up a bit. You can skim or rake the pond sludge from the top of the pond so that you can use it in a standard compost pile.

Composting pond scum does require a bit of work on your part, but it’s going to be worth it in the end. The composted pond sludge will wind up becoming a nutrient-rich fertilizer that can be used in your gardens.

You’ll be able to grow plants more easily and you’ll be getting rid of that pesky pond sludge at the same time. It’s also possible to use the pond scum as potting soil when you have things that you need to plant.

So long as you mix pond scum with perlite or coarse sand, it’s going to get the job done well. You have options and you’re going to be able to make use of pond sludge to do a lot of good in your garden.

Enjoy your natural pond and your garden area more by doing things right each year.

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Author

I have a bachelor's degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies...I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.

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