For most Manitoba homeowners, raking the leaves in your yard before the snow is here to stay is a routine part of every fall season, but according to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, there could be hidden benefits — for wildlife — to leaving them on the ground.
“We’re suggesting leave the leaves on the ground to benefit wildlife and create a habitat in your backyard,” the conservancy’s Rebekah Neufeld told 680 CJOB.
“A few different insects over winter will live under those leaves, (as well as) some larvae of pollinators like butterflies and moths.
“It can provide some shelter for bees that act as our pollinators as well.”
Neufeld said frogs and other amphibians can also hide from the elements under the cover of leaves, and having leaves on your lawn can also increase the number of birds in your backyard, as they can eat some of the insects taking cover.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you should leave big piles on the front lawn.
“The species that we’re hoping that will use these areas aren’t necessarily ones that will want to be in your house,” said Neufeld.
“We are suggesting a thin layer scattered, rather than a big pile so you shouldn’t have any pests that would use a bigger pile.”
Neufeld also suggests spreading out leaves across your yard or putting them near trees and bushes so they can become compost.
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