GARDEN GUIDE: Fall Gardening: Next Year’s Butterflies are tied to this year’s fall garden “clean-up” | Archives

It is shaping up to be our favorite kind of fall, with temperatures already dropping in the 40s at night. The leaves will start to fall soon, and I can already hear the backpack blowers cranking and the lawnmowers revving. That fall “clean-up” itch gardeners and land managers start to feel during the season change is hard to fight, considering it is probably the first time folks feel comfortable outside again after our rough summer.

Most people do not know their fall management practices can impact our favorite insects and pollinators next year! We’re going to talk about some quick gardening strategies to help you help your insect and arthropod neighbors sheltering in your garden. Some of these are going to seem contrary to what you’ve been taught to do or what modern aesthetics demand. The best thing to do to balance your personal garden or land management goals with these suggestions is incorporate them as you can, and consider designating part of your land to reduced management practices.

Leave the Leaves

Fall Perennial Cutback

Stump Conservation

Share what you’ve learned


Amanda Wilkins is the Horticulture Agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.

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