Did you know…Bees and other beneficial insects LOVE garden detritus. You don’t need to do the full fall clean up of cutting all the plants back or removing fallen leaves! By doing less (or nothing at all), gardeners can protect pollinators and beneficial insects habitats. For example, leaf litter, which is a mix of bacteria, fungi, and invertebrates, is an ecosystem unto itself, providing habitat for beneficial insects, which in turn break the organic matter down into “garden gold” providing nutrients back to the soil. Leave leaves alone whenever possible, or set aside an area/corner of undisturbed patches of habitat allowing leaf litter, standing dead twigs/stems or other ground cover to remain. “Wild” unmanicured locations will provide a safe haven for a pollinator habitat.
Photo taken at The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Info shared from a piece by Justin Wheeler for the Xerces Society.