Can pond "muck" be used for fertilizer or composting?

Asked June 18, 2017, 1:12 PM EDT

Hello, I have a small pond that fills with leaves every fall, and a larger natural pond that is collects similar material accessible from the edges by raking. When we drain the small pond (man made) it has a lot of decomposing leaves, dirt , and other organic debris that I call "muck". (Don't know the real word for it.--but I have a lot of it.) It is dark black and not totally decomposed. I am wondering, would it be good to put the muck at the base of some of my trees for fertilizer? Is it good to be used as fertilizer at all? Or if it is not in condition to be put on plants and trees, would it be good to try to compost? Should it be put on top, or worked into the soil or mulch? I am new to composting. I would like to put this muck to good use in enriching the landscaping if possible. Thanks in advance for your help. Will really appreciate it.

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response


Thank you for contacting eXtension regarding your pond muck question. The partially decomposed organic material that you clean from your pond is perfectly safe to surface apply to your garden and sheet composted. normally leaves and other debris like this would decompose where it falls on the ground without concern. So to can the stuff from your garden pond. It also makes a good addition to your compost bin. It will contain anaerobic bacteria that is quickly replaced with aerobic bacteria in the compost bin.
Bottom line, no worries, just compost.

Happy Gardening.