More Planting - Less Tidying
If you feel a need to 'tidy up' this fall take it inside for a good fall cleaning. Oh, who are we kidding, just forgo that tidy up urge and get outside and plant! Planting native plants is the first step in creating a healthy habitat that supports life. How you maintain your property is the next essential step. And, in the fall that means a whole lot of doing not much of anything at all. The vast majority of insects and invertebrates spend winter right where they spent all summer — just less active and more hidden. So, think twice before you rake, mow, and blow this year. Invertebrates rely on fallen leaves and other organic debris to cover and insulate them from the elements. And don't just leave those leaves, also save the stems. No need to cut down dead perennials, those now hollow stems are home to a remarkable number of cavity nesting beneficial insects. Leaving plants standing also offers winter interest, seed heads for birds and is better for the health of the plants.
Leaving the leaves and other plant debris doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your yard to the wilderness. The leaves don’t need to be left exactly where they fall. You can rake them into garden beds, around tree bases, or into other designated 'wild' areas. Always avoid shredding leaves with a mower, keeping the leaves whole provides the best cover and protects the insects and eggs already living there. Leaves are not litter, the one place they do not belong is at your curb. To learn more visit the Xerces Society #LeavetheLeaves Campaign Page.