Leaves are not litter. They are food and shelter for butterflies, moths, beetles, and more

New leave the leaves sign available in our online gift center
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October 13, 2021

For many people fall cleanup means cutting all the seed heads and stems off the flowers and raking up all of the leaves. A tidy garden and yard are what many people strive to achieve. Everything clipped back, leaves raked and removed, messy piles of branches put in the green bin for pick up. This tidiness may look nice to us, but it is not good for all of the small creatures that live in and around your property. Please consider leaving the leaves this fall.
Leave the Leaves to Benefit Wildlife

One of the most valuable things you can do to support pollinators and other invertebrates is to provide them with the winter cover they need. Leave the leaves does not mean ignoring them and leaving them where they fell. You can move them to places in your yard where they are out of the way, will not kill your turf, and will still help wildlife. A thin layer of leaves can actually help turf—but too much will kill the grass. Consider raking leaves into areas around trees, or use them as winter mulch for perennials or to cover garden beds. Read More

NEW! Leave the Leaves Sign

Many of you asked and we listened. We are excited to announce the launch of our delightful new Leave the Leaves sign! This beautifully illustrated yard sign will help explain to your neighbors why you have decided to leave the leaves this year. The sign has two holes so you can easily mount it to a fence or post (hanging hardware is not included). These signs are available for a donation in our online Gift Center.

Beyond Plants: What Else do Insects Need to Thrive (pre-recorded webinar)

A garden that has an abundance of flowers will support insects—but to maximize the diversity of insects your garden can support, you’ll also need to provide places where they can nest, lay eggs, and shelter. In this recorded presentation, Xerces’ Matthew Shepherd and Jennifer Hopwood talk about how to leave the leaves, save the stems, and other ways to help insects thrive in your backyard. Watch on our YouTube Channel

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Banner photo: Suzanne Granahan / The Xerces Society
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