The snows may have hit suddenly and covered some of the leaves on the ground but they are going to melt before proper winter sets in and some might be tempted to take the opportunity to clean up their lawns. But a message from the Nature Conservancy of Canada suggests we should leave the rakes in the shed and the leaves on the ground. “We all love to look at the colour of the leaves but we don’t necessarily like to clean them up,” Nature Conservancy spokesperson Jessica Panetta said. The good news is the not-for-profit is encouraging us to avoid that work for the sake of the environment. They say that leaving fallen leaves in your yard is a small helpful act that can support backyard biodiversity.
So, why should you leave the leaves behind this winter? According to Panetta, leaf piles help native insects, including pollinators, and other backyard wildlife hibernate through the winter. “It can create a habitat for insects who, just like us, are trying to tough out the winter,” Panetta said. But it’s not just the bugs who benefit, the bigger critters who use them for food come spring time are also helped by this new habit they want us to develop. “By having those insects underneath those leaves and in your garden it’s a chance for you to reconnect with nature and see those birds and butterflies,” she said.
Panetta also addressed the concerns of those who don’t want to leave their lawns looking messy; suggesting that cleaning up the front yard is alright if the back yard is still covered. If you can’t leave the leaves where they fall perhaps creating a pile nicely laid out around tree roots or in flower beds is a good way to provide some benefit while still keeping things looking tidy.
Story from Global News.