Wednesday, April 26, 2023

STOP! You Need To Know Why You Shouldn't Clear Your Garden Beds and Landscaping Just Yet!

We wait a long time for warm weather here in the Northeast, and the millisecond we get a taste - we're all outside acting like we live there. 

Thawing sunny days may have you dreaming of overflowing flower gardens and fresh ripe backyard tomatoes, and you may be tempted to clean up your garden beds to make room for the glorious growing season.

But hold up! Don't grab that rake just yet.

Don't rush to clear out your garden beds too soon - it could have some pretty harsh consequences for our amazing pollinators and the quality of your soil! The photo features a dirty, winter-weary garden bed with a single fresh bloom.

I's not pretty. You're itching to have those beds ready and waiting for the frost threat all-clear. Me too, meeeee too.


Did you know that clearing your garden beds too early could harm the pollinators and friendly insects in your garden? 

Here's three reasons why you might want to wait a bit longer before cleaning up:

1. Pollinators Need Time to Hatch

Many pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, overwinter in the garden as eggs, larvae, or pupae. If you clear out the dead plants too early, you risk destroying these future pollinators before they have a chance to hatch. Wait until the weather has stayed consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for a few weeks before starting your spring clean-up.

2. Dead Plant Material Provides a Winter Habitat

Don't be too hasty to remove all the dead plant material from your garden. Many beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, overwinter in the hollow stems and leaves of dead plants. Removing all the dead material could deprive these insects of their winter habitat.

3. Composting Benefits

Leaving the dead plant material in your garden beds until the weather has warmed up will give you a head start on your compost pile. Dead plant material is high in carbon, which is an essential ingredient in compost. By adding it to your compost pile, you'll be giving your soil a boost of nutrients when you use the compost later in the season.

So, basically....being patient will give you better soil, more helpful insects, and help ALL of us out by giving pollinators their best chance!

Don't feel bad if you didn't know this - I only learned it a couple years ago!

But now that I know, I'll always give those friendly bugs a few extra weeks to do their thing and stay cozy in their.....well, truthfully, decaying homes (lol). 

It's super hard to wait - it's driving me crazy this year! We had some summer-like weather this month and it took everything in me to just leave it all alone. Soon, soon, soon. And I guess the trade-off is that no one does autumn like we do, ya know? ;)

Did you know this? 

Pass it on and save the bees!!!

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