We're going to go ahead and assume that you like bees & butterflies and pollinators in general. Whether it's just because they're pretty or you appreciate the work they do pollinating our flowers, fruits and veggies, pollinators are pretty great. Well, they could use our help in the early spring and summer months..
We love pausing our work at the farm to admire a bee or butterfly flitting from flower to flower. It's always a delight to see them back every year. So why are we telling you to think of them now? They're not out yet. They're still all asleep waiting for spring to really get going. Well, that's exactly why we want you to think about them. Have you ever wondered exactly where pollinators are this time of year?
Many of them are right under your feet! In fallen leaves. In dead plant stems. Generally keeping warm and snug in your yard's debris. It can be hard to wait. Looking out the window at a sad garden. It would look much nicer if you just raked up all those leaves and sticks, but... You'd be raking up so many bugs, bees, pollinators and other hibernating critters! While you may see some early risers buzzing about, many wait for warmer weather to make their grand entrance.
So how long should you wait? Our rule of thumb is to wait until it's time to transplant our tomatoes outside. Or if you have a lawn, wait until it needs to be mowed. Here in Toronto, mid-late May is usually about right.
We get it. Being cooped up all winter is tough. That untidy lawn can be a bit of an eyesore. We want to get out into the garden as much as anyone. But take a breath. Maybe pop a sign onto your front lawn explaining that you are participating in "No Mow May" to keep the neighbours from getting on your case. Go for a walk in your local park. Clean your gutters. Tidy the garage. There's plenty to keep you occupied for a few extra weeks while you wait for the pollinators to wake up. That leaf litter can wait a little longer & the pollinators will thank you.