Maintaining Your Backyard Beauty, Pond Netting 101

Protection to keep your pond looking great.

Without a leaf net, you can collect hundreds of leaves in your pond in only a week’s time. Here’s a great example of a Premium Pond Leaf Net.

Maintaining your pond has never been easier given the variety and customization available for pond netting. All pond owners should use netting to protect the quality of their water, keeping the pond, filter and pump free from leaves and debris.

As we approach fall, pond owners should be pulling out their leaf netting before the first signs of colorful foliage. Without a leaf net, you can collect hundreds of leaves in your pond in only a week’s time. When left to decompose, leaves will turn into pond sludge over the winter months, resulting in additional work in the spring.

The netting can be used suspended over the water’s surface or laid on top of the water. When the netting is stretched and suspended over the water, it helps deter heron, cats and other critters from being able to reach into the water. When suspended over the water, it also blends into the surroundings. 

Choosing a quality leaf net gives you the best protection and minimizes spring cleanup. Netting with a tighter mesh of 1/8 inch is recommended. Look for a knitted polypropylene leaf net, as this type of net will hold up to most climates. An added benefit of the tight, weave-knitted polypropylene mesh is that leaves and debris can be blown off by the wind or a mechanical leaf blower.

Sizing Your Net

For ponds 10 feet or larger in any direction, look for the same type of leaf net, only with sewn bindings and grommets. The use of bound netting and grommets allows you to stake down the net securely. We have seen numerous ponds where the leaf load has taken the entire net into the pond, leaves and all, when weighted down by only a few rocks. You can imagine the amount of work this causes when all the leaves end up in the pond.

 When a pond gets larger than 15 feet in any direction, additional support is recommended, such as blow-up pillows. Particularly large ponds require the support of PVC pipe and pillows in order to keep the netting from sinking below the surface. Solid nylon wire and inline tensioners are a great alternative to PVC pipe. A few runs of the nylon wire will allow you to slide the leaf net on the pond much more easily, and it will support the weight of the leaf net. No matter what option you select for leaf-netting support, keeping the net suspended over the water’s surface is the best method for controlling the leaves from entering and decomposing in your pond. 

No matter the size of your pond, added weight from wet leaves and snow can tear your leaf netting. Using the stake and tie-down bungee on all of the grommets on the leaf net can reduce tension on the netting and prevent some tears.

Premium pond leaf net with PVC supports.

When measuring for a leaf net, always remember to adjust the size to allow the net to be staked down on the outside edges of the pond liner. We recommend adding 2 feet past the edge of the water and, if applicable, the surrounding rock perimeter.

Contractors and homeowners often ask us about covering odd-shaped ponds, waterfalls and streams. Most customers are not aware that having a custom cut and sewn pond leaf net is an option. A good drawing with measurements or a template is all that is needed to get a properly fitted pond leaf net. We can recommend the best size and shape once we review the drawing and plans. Our goal with every pond net is to give the customer the best protection by selecting the appropriate combination of netting and support structure. Not only will we help you find the right pond-netting solution, but we will also provide you with directions on the proper use of the netting, stakes and tie-downs to make your pond closing a positive experience.

Nylon Mesh Netting

Besides leaf netting, pond owners might want to consider blue heron and critter protection nets made out of knotted nylon mesh. We offer 1-inch and 2-inch mesh. The 1-inch knotted nylon netting is very strong and will not rip or tear when pulled tight. The netting can be used suspended over the water’s surface or laid on top of the water. When the netting is stretched and suspended over the water, it helps deter heron, cats and other critters from being able to reach into the water. When suspended over the water, it also blends into the surroundings. The 2-inch knotted nylon mesh has the same qualities as the 1-inch mesh, except the larger opening allows more access to the water. When this netting is suspended 2 feet over the pond, water plants can grow with ease.

pond net for the fall blue heron

2-in. Blue Heron Critter Protection Net.

Herons usually want to land at the pond’s edge and wade in a step or two and wait. When you use knotted nylon mesh netting, herons and other critters are prevented from reaching the water. Besides being a barrier to reach the water, fish will have more protection, which is especially important in the spring when plants and foliage are just beginning to grow back.

Knotted nylon mesh netting can be customized on-site. A pair of sharp scissors is all that is needed to trim the netting to size. Heron and critter netting can be staked down or be tucked under rocks for a cleaner look. As with the larger leaf nets, the same support guidelines apply. We recommend nylon wire to keep the netting from sagging in the middle.

Pond stake with hook and loop tie down.

An important fact to remember is never use a solid covering over a pond. The pond needs to breathe and have proper airflow, water flow and sunlight through the netting. These elements are very important to maintaining healthy ponds. Choose a pond net that will give you the best protection along with breathability. You have many options for your pond. We encourage you to research your options and find the best pond net for your needs. Your pond water and fish will thank you.

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