Spring clean the yard with beneficial insects and pollinators in mind
It’s easy to get excited to clean up the yard when the weather begins to turn warmer in spring. It’s a natural urge to pull out the dead growth from your garden, but what you pull out is also natural and an important part of the annual cycle. Many beneficial insects and pollinators overwinter in dead plant stems and are disturbed when the stems are discarded before they emerge naturally. Rather than getting rid of the stems in the early spring, leave them until the weather warms to at least 50°F for seven consecutive days. By then, they will have emerged on their own.
If you must remove the stems from the ground, add them to your compost pile loosely, or scatter them at the edge of a wooded area. Alternatively, you can bundle them with twine and lean or hang them against existing landscaping so the insects will not be disturbed until they’re ready to emerge. It’s possible other insects will take up residence in the stems as the year goes on, too.
About This Author