Spring is a great time of year to start preparing your garden for the warmer weather, but it’s important to resist the urge to start cleaning up too soon. In this blog post by the Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats, the key elements to consider before jumping into garden cleanup are highlighted.
Consider the timing of your cleanup. Early spring is a critical time for many beneficial insects, such as native bees and butterflies, as they emerge from hibernation and begin their search for food and shelter. By removing dead plant material and debris too early, you may be removing important habitat and food sources for these insects.
Consider the type of plants and flowers you have in your garden. Many native plants, such as milkweed and goldenrod, provide important food and habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects. By leaving these plants standing throughout the winter, you provide essential shelter and food for insects during the colder months.
The third key element to consider is the use of pesticides and herbicides in your garden. These chemicals can be harmful to both beneficial insects and the environment, so it’s important to use them sparingly and only when necessary.
In summary, while it may be tempting to jump right into garden cleanup as soon as the weather starts to warm up, it’s important to take a step back and consider the impact of your actions on the ecosystem around you. By waiting until the right time, leaving native plants standing, and minimizing the use of pesticides and herbicides, you can help support the important role that insects play in our world.