When most people think of a “fall cleanup,” they envision transforming their yard into a spotless lawn and garden beds full of perfectly manicured grass, without a single leaf in sight.
This may be a nice image for a postcard or television set, but it’s not what a yard tended to organically should look like. If you’re looking to have a yard that facilitates healthy plant and animal life, preserves the natural environment, and still looks great, consider the differences between a traditional fall cleanup and an ecological one.
For the first post in this series, we’ll examine the differences between a traditional cleanup and an ecological one as it relates to your lawn.
Ecological fall cleanups don't pick up everything from the lawn
The name “fall” is a relatively recent name for the autumn season. It first appeared in 16th-century manuscripts and literature as a poetic way to describe how leaves and plant matter fall to the ground. Today, we associate fall with yards that are dotted by colorful leaves and twigs raked into piles. Many people believe the best lawns are totally clear of any kind of leaves or organic matter.
But healthy lawns actually have plenty of this type of material on them. Fallen leaves provide natural shelter for pollinators like bees, butterflies and ladybugs. They also offer valuable nutrients for soil and can protect the ground from harmful frost and harsh sunlight.
Organic fall cleanups prepare the lawn for fall and winter
Many traditional approaches to lawn care involve planning for the seasons as if they are all completely separate. While each season does require its own individual considerations, it’s best to start planning for seasons in advance. When you follow ecological fall garden cleanup practices, you’re not only getting your garden in shape for the fall, you’re helping the soil repair and recover during the offseason so that it can support healthy, vibrant plants when the weather warms up. This acts as the foundation for your yard through the rest of the year.
Ecological fall cleanups allow wildlife to use your lawn
You might think your lawn will be totally devoid of any life during the freezing winter, but that’s probably not the case. While there’s certainly less plant and animal life in your yard when it’s cold, there are still important natural processes that need to take place to continue the cycle of life.
For example, when the leaves begin to fall from your trees and shrubs, they form a natural barrier for caterpillars that protects them from predators and harsh wind and precipitation. Even after their petals fall off and they begin to wither, flowers like daisies and sunflowers can provide a valuable food source for insects and other pollinators. If you are going to work on cleaning your yard in the fall, make sure not to disturb these natural habitats and food sources so wildlife can use your lawn in the offseason.
Get help preparing your yard with an ecological fall cleanup in Massachusetts
If you’re interested in putting your garden to bed for the season and getting your yard protected for the cold so it can thrive when the temperatures rise again, guidance from experts will help. Get in touch with the team at Moodscapes today by filling out the form below to learn more about how we can assist in getting your yard in shape for the season without sacrificing the natural benefits of letting leaves stay on your grass.