Leave The Leaves!

This newly-emerged polyphemus was discovered during spring raking in a Defiance garden last year—a testament to the value of leaving the leaves until AFTER the lilacs bloom!

When you are raking up those leaves, keep an eye out for frogs, turtles, and other critters that rely on fallen leaves for cover and hibernation. Carefully relocate them to a safe leafy area when possible.

Letting your garden go natural can reap big benefits

The temptation to clean up leaves, spent flowers, and garden debris in the fall is great, but keep in mind there are many rewards to “letting your garden go”! The leaf litter, woody stems and other natural materials found in your landscaping and garden during the fall months can provide habitat for a variety of beneficial insects and pollinators.

Natural Mulch and Fertilizer
Your fall garden and landscaping debris serves many functions, one of which is to act as a natural mulch, keeping precious soil in place by preventing erosion, during the winter months. The organic matter found in natural materials, such as leaf litter, will slowly break down over the dormant season, serving as a natural fertilizer for anything that comes up in the spring.

Shelter for Wildlife
Praying mantid cases are often found in the fall on woody stems. They overwinter in a protected location to emerge in the spring and help control the population of insects in your garden.

Small Actions With Big Impact
For more ideas and simple ways you can help sustain our natural surroundings and improve local water quality see the make-a-difference page


Read more about “Leave the Leaves…” at xerces.org





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