Don’t Clean Up Your Garden & Yard Just Yet!

Although spring is officially here, mixed weather forecasts can have it feeling like summer one day and winter the next. When the sun is out and the weather is nice, we know how exciting it is to start prepping your garden for growing season.

BUT, if you don’t have a green house or have a system set up to protect your beds from the frost, it can still be too early to actually get planting. Plus, while spring fever has you in it’s grip, our pollinator and insect friends would much prefer it if we held off a few more weeks.

They are using the space under your leaves, hay and other garden coverings to keep safe and warm until the weather permanently shifts. Consider this the “beneficial insect’s” winter habitat. They are the VIPs of the garden, so we should treat them as such.

Native bees, butterflies, lady bugs, moths, spiders, and our other friends use the protection of the hollow stems, tree bark, and undisturbed stick and leaf litter to keep safe until it is time for them to pollinate our gardens! 

Some of these pollinators (specifically a lot of native bees and butterflies) are full adults, while some are still egg and larvae. But ALL of them need protection until the warmer weather comes. These beneficial insects are on our side, and do more than just pollinate plants, they are also an important part of your local food chain, as bird populations rely on these insects for protein sources each year. 

The best advice we have seen is waiting for nighttime temperatures at 50* or above for 7 consecutive days. A general rule of thumb is to wait until after Mothers Day to plant. We know spring weather can be erratic, but be patient with bed prep if there is a chance of cold temperatures coming back.

In addition to leaving your garden beds sit a little longer, there is also a movement called No Mow May.

This initiative has also been designed to protect early season pollinators. By not mowing, we once again protect insects’ winter habitats and ensure spring food sources. Insects can feast on flowers like crocuses and snowdrops, which pop-up early and quite randomly, but they are often chopped down with an early season mow.

Don’t believe us? Studies done in 2020 during No Mow May showed that the bee population of participating lawns was three times higher than those that mowed!

Basically, consider doing less this spring to spruce up outside! Less mowing and clearing until  relocation for the current critters living in our yards is feasible.

Remember, we are working together with nature, and in order to have a thriving ecosystem in your garden, you need healthy and happy pollinators.

Keep this information in mind as the seasons change and fall comes back around. Our pollinator friends will need the protection during the winter again, so once again do less work & leave the leaves. 

 

Sources & More Resources Below:

 

https://savvygardening.com/6-reasons-not-to-clean-up-your-garden-this-fall/

 

https://www.thegrowingplace.com/dont-clean-up-your-garden-yet/

 

https://beecityusa.org/no-mow-may/

 

https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/about-us/news/no-mow-may-how-to-get-ten-times-more-bees-on-your-lockdown-lawn 

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