560 CFOS

560 CFOS

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Nature Conservancy Says 'Be Lazy, Don't Rake'

Regional | by Claire McCormack  

Biologist says you should leave your leaves on the ground.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada wants you to be lazy and leave your fall leaves on the ground.

They say it can enrich your soil and help support backyard biodiversity by providing habitat over the winter.

In a media release, Senior Conservation Biologist Dan Kraus says many native insects, including pollinators and other backyard wildlife hibernate through the winter under leaves, "The leaves provide an insulating blanket that can help protect these animals from very cold temperatures and temperature fluctuations during the winter."
He says cleaning your yard entirely can remove other important habitats, "Plant stalks and dead branches also provide habitat for many species of insects."

Kraus says fruits and seeds left on flowers and shrubs are a crucial food source for many songbirds during the winter, including goldfinches, jays and

As for soil quality, Kraus says leaves break down to become a natural mulch, storing their carbon in the soil, which is a good thing because carbon sinks suck up carbon dioxide.  

He notes, while thick piles of leaves can impact the growth of grass and other
plants, a light covering can improve the health of gardens and lawns.  

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is a not-for-profit, private land conservation organization.

To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.


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