Many beneficial insects overwinter under leaves, inside the hollows of plant stems, on branches and in the soil of your garden. Insects are an important part of your local ecosystem pollinating ¾ of all flowering plants and 1/3 of the foods we enjoy. Since 1989 there has been a 75% decline in the insect population. Good bugs eat bad bugs and all bugs provide food for fish, amphibians and birds. 98% of all songbirds need insects to feed their young. Ideally, garden clean up should not start until outside temperatures are around fifty degrees and the soil is dry (mid-April to mid May). Spring clean with care, gently removing leaves so not to disturb ground nesting bees, overwintering butterflies, and predatory (good) insects. Avoid bagging yard waste, instead, place it in a compost bin or in a pile off to the side for late emerging insects. Lastly, avoid mulching to soon making it hard for soil loving insects from emerging.
“No winter last forever: no spring skips it's turn”. - Hal Borland