How is your garden growing now that it’s time for the snow to fly? If you think there’s no action during the frozen months you’re wrong. Plants may be finished for the year if perennial or forever if annual, but some insects are just getting going. Many beneficial pollinators and pest predator insects need your garden scraps to hibernate or procreate during the winter. Please allow them the time and space to try and make it into another spring season.
By totally clearing your garden waste you are also completely destroying valuable beneficial insect habitat! Unless you live in a rural area with lots of other nesting materials available, we strongly recommend a spring clean of your garden as opposed to a fall clean up. In the city it’s a must. Ladybugs for example over winter under the leaf mulch, butterfly’s lay their eggs on the stocks of plants. Nature has designed these systems to allow for safe passage through the coldest of times. If you have composted your butterfly eggs along with your garden waste…. well, that’s it for those tiny baby butterflies. Don’t feel too bad, there’s also plenty of insects who have used your compost to lay eggs for next year.
Some Bee species use loose compost and matted grass areas to build nests to over winter, it’s just a matter of understanding and promoting the type of creepy crawlies you want in your garden. Finally, there’s the mulch, we can’t say enough good things about mulch. Mulch not only protects your plants during those dark days, it will protect insect habitat too.