Will beneficial overwintering insects be okay if raked materials are set aside and not burned?


I saw advice not to clear old plants from gardens too early because beneficial bugs like bees and butterflies overwinter in them. I shared this and my gardening friend, who said she has to clear earlier because she grows fragile daffodils. Will the good bugs be okay if she sets the raked materials aside and doesn’t burn them? Thank you!


Lynne Holland, Community Education Assistant (Home Horticulture), Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties

Both daffodils and crocus benefit from a clear path to blooming. That means removing the leaves that landed where those bulbs were planted.  

The removal of the stalks of last year’s perennials, however, is where those beneficial bugs tend to be for the winter so those should stay a while longer.

So a light raking (or clean up with your hands) where bulbs are planted is called for. Cutting stalks to the ground can wait a month or so.