Leave The Stems Standing – Help Insects!

Structural wealth in a natural garden is of no use if it is cleared away in autumn. Too much human order disturbs nature. Let’s just leave winter hiding places for various insects! Insect protection can be so simple – just do nothing. At least that’s what we advise you to do for the autumn shrub bed.

With the last sunny days, a mania for order breaks out in many gardens. Many hobby gardeners often unconsciously destroy the hiding places of many beneficial insects under the motto “get fit for winter”. Countless useful larvae overwinter in the stems of blackberries, sunflowers and reeds.

“Too much human order disturbs nature”, “It’s crazy how much energy we humans use to clean up what nature has conquered.” Insects have now nested in many stalks of perennials and shrubs. British researchers found an average of six insect larvae between the nodes in reed plants, i.e. over 120 per stalk! The aphid hunters ladybirds and lacewings in particular need perennial stems for their quarters.

Butterflies overwinter in all stages, admirals and painted ladies even migrate south to the Mediterranean like birds. The frost spiders will soon lay their eggs, which will then hibernate in the apple tree crown. Bluebirds have to survive the frost as caterpillars, cabbage whites as pupae. “Big and small foxes and the peacock butterfly seek protected areas as finished moths. That can also be the unheated cellar, which is open for ventilation ”, says Hofmann.

The value of such an abundance of insects cannot be overestimated. In addition, many types of grass and perennials still carry a residue of seeds, an emergency ration for garden dwellers in winter, for example thistle finches. “You can still remove the old stalks in spring”, “at least some of them should be left over the winter.”

The colorful foliage that will soon be raining down also belongs in the garden and not in garbage bags. “Anyone who has ever observed the blackbird and great tit, how they busily turn the leaves and enthusiastically pick up snails and woodlice, has good arguments against order-loving neighbors”, “and hedgehogs in particular will soon need a large pile of leaves that is secured against the wind with branches.”

The most beautiful structural abundance in the natural garden is of no use if it is cleared away in winter. The well-intentioned insect hotel alone hardly offers enough hiding spots and is not even accepted by many insects.

So leave as many plants as possible in your gardens before winter and offer so many different insects and animals a habitat and a hiding place for the winter.

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