The landscaper in us all tells us to clean up our yards and gardens in preparation for winter. We know by now that an excess of leaves can harm healthy grass, and an overabundance of dead plants can quickly rot and decay. But when does fall clean-up become too much? Are we helping or harming the local plants and wildlife populations?
The fall clean-up routine is not as rigorous as it once was. Read on to learn more!
Protect Native Bees
Why do bees stay inside of their hives all winter? Swarm. Native bees flock to your garden or landscape for hibernation, and the actions you take could dictate their winter survival. Rather than mulching all trees and shrubs, leave a few areas completely bare. The bare garden ground will encourage bumblebees to nest. Instead of cutting your native plants down, allow a significant portion of stalk stubble to remain for pollinator nesting sites.
Remember the Butterflies
As the butterfly populations continue to decline, it’s more important than ever to protect these precious insects. The Baltimore Checkerspot and Meadow Fritillary all hibernate as caterpillars, while the Eastern Comma butterfly hibernates as an adult in plant litter. You may not notice, but butterflies are rolling up in the fallen leaves to hibernate. This fall, refrain from raking all leaves to allow the populations to grow.
Red Cardinals are sights to behold come wintertime, but what if we could attract more birds to our landscapes? Our winged friends prefer textured landscapes to freshly raked ones, as the diversity is a sure sign of food. Allowing more growth and leaves to remain on the grass allows more insects and worms to populate: which means more birds!
VISIT AMERICAN NATIVE PLANTS
Whether you’re looking to restore a local wetland or beautify your property, American Native Plants can provide you with the right plants for the job. With an inventory of over 400,000 native trees, native shrubs, and herbaceous plants consider American Native Plants your one-stop shop for wholesale native plant needs. Peruse our catalog, give us a call, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!