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Uncertain homeowner seeks advice on unconventional garden: 'Now I'm thinking maybe I should have cut everything down?'

"No need to worry."

"No need to worry."

Photo Credit: Reddit

A thriving community of native plant enthusiasts came to one Redditor's aid after they sought help with their pollinator garden. 

The poster shared a picture in the r/NativePlantGardening subreddit of a small garden, which includes purple coneflower, black-eyed Susans, and blue aster, all perennials native to North America. 

"I am hoping to expand this year," the Redditor captioned their post. "Now I'm thinking maybe I should have cut everything down? I think maybe I read that native bugs hibernate in stems so I didn't want to, but now I'm wondering if that means I won't have seeds in the ground for spring?"

"No need to worry."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"Should I have cut it down or should I do it in the spring or should I just leave it alone?" they asked. 

Many Redditors advocated for leaving the garden standing. 

"No need to worry, if anything your seed will be spread out now by wind, weather and animals," one individual wrote. "You'll likely end up with a full and beautiful garden this Spring."

The only concern expressed was about the utility pole in the middle of the garden. 

"When shifting this garden, it is imperative that you move it out of the direct line between your house and this pole. Any utility work done here could include a trenching machine, which will chew through your garden like a very focused tiller," another commenter advised

According to the Minnesota State Horticulture Society, spent perennials can act as shelter for helpful insects, like ground-nesting bees, during the winter months. Some provide seeds for birds to eat and stalks for them to perch or hide. 

Native plant gardens create a healthier ecosystem for pollinators all year round, ultimately benefiting humans, as pollinators protect our food supply. Expanding from a garden to a native plant lawn or investing in a partial lawn replacement can save homeowners money and time on lawn maintenance and lower water bills. Eco-friendly, low-maintenance lawn replacement options include buffalo grass and xeriscaping

Redditors on this post suggested that pollinators wouldn't be the only critters benefiting from the garden — the poster's kiddos might, too. 

"You could even make a game out of scattering the seeds, teach them the importance of plants, and then you can keep all the stems up for bugs without worry," one suggested.

"My 4 year old was SO EXCITED to scatter all the seeds!" the original poster replied. "I am hoping to do it with them every year!! And I will def be leaving the stems."

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