Some reasons why you shouldn’t clean up the Fall Garden. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Before pulling out all of the tools to clean up the garden, keep some of these things in mind… removing spent material from the garden is removing fertilizer, rich topsoil, habitat, and food — or simply put, it’s gardening against nature.
When trees drop leaves around their root zone it’s OK to leave them alone because leaves are rich in nutrients. Leaves and other plant bits are broken down naturally over time by soil life, incorporated into the soil by bugs and micro organisms and bacteria and worms and ants and moles. This adds fertility to the soil and increases water penetration and storage.
Leaving flower heads full of seed can be critical for winter songbirds whose resources dwindle as the season goes along. Seeds tend to be high in fat content and lots of other good nutrients critical to a bird’s ability to produce both energy and heat in the colder months.
Of course, once spring comes, flower stems and grass clumps used for food and shelter from snowstorms become prime nesting material.
Listen to Cathy Isom’s This Land of Ours program here.