Garden specialists recommended clearing your annual and perennial gardens of all debris in late fall after the first freeze when everything above ground was dead.

No longer.

Mason Bees Rocky Pond Nursery | Estacada Oregon

Now we better understand the importance of leaving that debris for overwintering beneficial insects.

No matter how much nesting materials you provide, some Leafcutter bees and Mason bees along with other native bees, overwinter as young larvae, in the spent floricanes and other pith stems or holes in stumps and logs.

Ladybugs

Ladybugs, those efficient aphid killers, spend the winter as adults under branches, in logs and nestled in the thick protective cover of ornamental grasses. A single ladybug can eat as many as 5,000 aphids during their life, so they are definitely one of the good guys.

We all know the importance of bees to our food chain.

This year when you clear away dead debris from your garden, consider setting the debris aside, for a season, giving the beneficial insects like Mason Bees and Ladybugs a chance to hatch.

To grow a healthy, beautiful, abundant garden, you will need the help of beneficial insects. Removing their winter quarters could mean removing them.