By Geri Williams
Now – before leaves start coming down – go over your lawn with a metal rake to remove dead grass and any debris that may have accumulated over the summer. Then when the leaves fall you can mulch them with your mower and leave in place (or apply to your perennial beds) to improve the soil for next year.
Leave your leaves under trees and in flowerbeds where you can. Many caterpillars and other insects utilize fallen leaves as protection for the winter. In spring these insects provide food for our early returning birds.
Fall is also a very good time to plant shrubs, trees and perennials. The cooler weather means less watering and stress for them to provide a good start getting established.
Leave seed heads from coneflowers, black-eyed Susans and similar flowers standing in your gardens. The birds will thank you this winter.
If you would like to learn more, the Scituate Public Library hosted Claudia Thompson who gave our wonderful program on landscaping for bird diversity last winter. She gave a presentation “DIG IN: Ditch the Fall Clean-up” which can be viewed on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yq2ziigLLM&t=1s