Bee gardening


i never realized i was my bugs worst enemy.

i usually dont give insect nests etc a thought
in my zeal to make the garden clean but
i guess ive just been trashing them annually
im wondering how (when) to clean up –
i understand bugs like to nest in cut perennial
stems so im thinking i should hold off ??
i dont want it to look like a jungle but still
any advice?
any other gardeners ‘bug gardening” ?



Thanks for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.  It is wonderful that you are starting to consider the needs of the bugs  (bees and other pollinators) when thinking about and working in your garden.  Many kinds of insects make their homes in plants and other garden debris.  Hence you mentioned it is important not to clean up too soon, and to leave a little of your garden wild, so that the insects which nest in hollow stems over the winter have the opportunity to vacate those nests before you clean up.  Waiting until the weather is warmer (consistently over 10 degrees Celcius), before doing your cleanup

Below are links to a couple of guides.

The first is a very good guide prepared by the City of Toronto on The Bees of Toronto.  It contains lots of useful information about bees, including their habitats, and what you can do to promote help them.

The second is on Pollinator Gardens, generally, and was prepared by the Toronto Master Gardeners. It is full of information on Pollinators and how you can encourage them in your garden.  If you garden with pollinators in mind, and they thrive, you will be struck by how much healthier your garden is, and how many species of birds you attract to the garden.

I expect that your will find out that your garden can be both beautiful and friendly to the bugs that make it their home.

April 21, 2023