If you don't like raking the leaves in your backyard, this group says you don't have to


A wildlife conservation group has some good news for all you procrastinators out there.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada says you can skip the annual chore of raking your autumn leaves, or at least put it off until the spring.

The group says there are some benefits for both wildlife, and your lawn, to leaving them there.

"From a conservation perspective, this has a lot of important benefits for backyard wildlife," says Jessica Panetta with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. "Over the winter months, it could actually provide habitat for different species that might be found in your backyard — insects, ladybugs, caterpillers, butterflies, toads and more."

Not only would leaving the leaves where they are benefit certain animal species in need of a winter home, there's also a benefit for your lawn and soil.

"It creates an insulating layer to protect it from the snow," Panetta says. "And then once the snow melts and the springtime comes,  you could either choose to rake it then, or run over it with a lawnmower."

She points out, though, that leaving huge piles may suffocate your grass, but if they're spread around your backyard, that would be okay.

"If you only have a few trees and a small layer, then it's a great thing to leave the leaves on the ground."