Letting nature takes its course in the garden

Tidying the garden is an urge that seizes gardeners as autumn nears but green fingers should resist reaching for the rake and reap the benefits, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Fallen leaves, shrivelling summer plants and unruly hedges may be unsightly but prove a haven for insects, worms and other wildlife.

This can have a positive impact on a garden. Worms, for example, thrive in unruly gardens and loosen the soil and are great for converting organic material into nutrients which plants can absorb.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Andy Smith from the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers said: "The thing to aim for is diversity.

"If you have a large lawn, leave some areas of grass a few inches longer to attract insects and retain moisture in the soil and if you leave plants to die in the border theyll provide seeds for birds and hiding places for insects."

According to gardenseeker.com, a small 400 sq ft garden with a low worm population of only five worms per cubic foot will be provided with over 600 lbs (about 1/3 lb per worm) of top-grade fertilizer by the worms, each year.