GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As temperatures begin to warm, people all over West Michigan will begin digging into their lawns, getting their gardens ready for early spring planting.

But while the removal of brush may not seem like a detrimental thing to do, when you decide to do it could have a huge impact on the pollinator population for the upcoming year.

Experts are advising to wait a couple of extra weeks to help boost the pollinator population for the coming spring.

While hard to spot, pollinators like butterflies frequently overwinter in things like leaves and dead stems. By keeping those brush items in place, new little bugs are able to hatch naturally, instead of being unintentionally killed or damaged.

Experts say it is best to wait until a solid week of above freezing temperatures where the daytime highs reach at least 50 degrees.

Typically in West Michigan, average highs are near 50 degrees by the beginning of April, which is when garden preparation is much safer for bug larvae. Pollinators are exceptionally helpful to local plants. The best gardens are ones that are helpful to, and supported by, local pollinators.

Plant expert Rick Vuyst recommends waiting until Mother’s Day to do serious planting in West Michigan gardens. By that point in time the frost and freeze threat is much lower.