We are counting down the days until the official start of spring. Happy vernal equinox to us all! Longer days and warmer weather mean you will probably be spending more time outside in the coming weeks, and you will likely notice that your garden needs some work.
Keep in mind that it is recommended that you wait until we have 7 consecutive days above 50 degrees before cutting back last year’s growth, raking, or mulching in your garden.
Artwork by Barbara Labus of a sample pollinator garden in the spring
Why is it important to wait ?
Many pollinators survive the winter months by burrowing into standing dead flower stalks or taking cover in leaf or brush piles in garden beds. If you clean up and dispose of these areas before the pollinators have had a chance to emerge, you’ll be getting rid of more than just “yard waste”. Many insects use air temperature as a guide for when it is time to emerge from their overwintering hideout. After 7 consecutive days above 50 degrees, the majority of our pollinating friends will have moved on to begin enjoying their own spring season.
By following this recommendation, you can give the pollinators time to emerge and live on to support your garden throughout the year!
If you can not wait until the weather warms to begin working in your garden, then be sure to check out this handy article for some alternative options to keep pollinators safe during your early garden clean-up work.
To learn about the native pollinator species found in the Indiana Dunes region and the plants that support their lifecycle, download our Pollinator Garden Landscaping Guide and start planning your garden today!