Anyone know how to apply pond sludge to a garden without risking burning the plants? Do you age it? Put it on as is? Mix it in? We have a small pond for one goose who is generous with her waste, and it needs cleaning. The surface water is fine because we use the water for our fruittrees and refill the pond on a regular basis, but the sludge at the bottom smells really bad, like a water treatment facility, but I know it's good s--.
If I had a bunch of funky pond sludge I would mix/layer it with brown leaves and pine needles and let it compost before applying it to the garden. If I didn't have the brown materials I would apply it in the fall so it would have the winter to mellow.
Well in anaerobic decomposition you can get some phytotoxin build up like iron sulfide and stuff. So I would want to get the stuff aired out on a regular basis. Heavy metals also build up in low spots probably not an issue in a small pond but I wouldn't go dredging the Mississippi for nutrients if you know what I mean.
I'm thinking the suggestion to compost it with some brown materials is a good idea. I know that my ducks' poo can serve as a really good soil sealer--great if you want to seal a pond, not so great if you want to fertilize a garden bed. Not to mention the smell...not sure how long it would take for the smell to go away...I'd want it to mellow in a far corner first.
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I would first mix it with brown matter, then layer it with more brown materials and inoculate it with mycelia. Let it compost for 3 months, I would then use that compost (I like to get the biggest bang for my buck) as starter for more compost piles and then use the resulting compost as normal, reserving some as starter for the next round of compost.
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