UK Gardeners Advised To Check For 1 Sign Before Spring Clean Up

The advice exists to support our pollinators.
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After the dull months of winter, it can be hard to resist the urge to get going in your garden as soon as the sun shows up.

But just as you shouldn’t cut spring grass until it reaches at least the height of a cotton earbud, some also suggest that a spring cleanup ― including raking, cutting, and pruning your lawn ― ought to wait for one crucial sign.

In a recent TikTok, gardening enthusiast @Cotille said that the pros in her gardening club are “always talking about how it’s so important not to do Spring cleanup too early.”

This is because “all the beneficial bugs are still hibernating, and you want to make sure you’re not disturbing them.”

So how can I tell when to go ahead and start my cleanup?

Cotille had the same question, which she says was answered by the “wisdom” of one of her club members.

“This woman, she works for the national parks and she was a professor of bird studies, she mentioned... when you start to notice the bugs in your garden, the bees, the whatever, that’s when it’s time to start doing your spring cleanup.”

PennState agrees that you should “wait as long as you can to clean out dead stalks and grasses in the garden, as these may be the home of overwintering invertebrates.”

For instance, bees may be hiding in cavities under grasses, they say.

In the comments of Cotille’s TikTok, an app user said, “Conservation biologist here: planting pollinator gardens and then doing spring/fall cleanup early is almost worse than not doing a pollinator garden at all.”

There are other ways to judge

It’s not just the presence of bees that’ll determine when your garden’s ready. PennState says that when apple blossoms are out, you’re likely good to go; other signs include when plum trees stop blooming, or when your yard feels ready to regularly mow.

CBC says that yet another good omen is when temperatures regularly exceed 10°C in your area.

Still, if you’re unsure, you might want to check for a buzz of bugs in your yard before you break out the rake.


Quick tip from the garden ladies in my local garden club about spring time garden cleanup. The garden ladies always talk about how important it is not to begin spring garden cleanup too early because it disturbs the beneficial bugs that are hibernating in the fallen leaves and hollowed out stems of your overwintered garden. Today a member who worked for the national parks and is a retired professor of ornithology shared this helpful tip. When you start to see the bugs being active in your garden that’s when it’s ok to start cleaning up your spring garden beds. Not sure why i never thought of that it makes so much sense. It was super helpful to hear and i thought it may be helpful to some of you out there too. #gardening #gardening101 #beginnergardener #gardeninghacks #gardentok #gardeningtips #springcleaning #springgarden #beneficialinsects #CapCut

♬ original sound - Cotille | Gardening Tips