Put the Lawnmower Away for May

Ready to say ‘no to the mow’?

Put the Lawnmower Away for May | Ready to say ‘no to the mow’?

An exciting grassroots movement is gaining popularity. No Mow May invites homeowners with lawns to put away their lawnmowers for the month of May and let their grass grow, offering a spring feast for busy pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and insects.

This idea originated in the UK, thanks to a charity called Plantlife. Their No Mow May program asks gardeners, city councils, and farmers whether they are “ready to say no to the mow.”

Promoting wild plants increases nectar tenfold
Dedicated to educating the public about the value of a wildlife lawn, the organization explains that not mowing a lawn and allowing wild plants to flower boosts nectar production ten times. In fact, the highest production of nectar sugar and flowers is found in lawns that are cut just once a month.

Wildflowers are powerful allies; one acre of meadow, according to the organization, is home to 3 million flowers, produces 1 kilogram of pollen on a single summer’s day! Given that Britain has seen a loss of 7.5 million acres of flowering meadows since the 1930s, Plantlife is turning to those with lawns to help replenish this loss.

This May 21, Plantlife is inviting ‘no mowers’ to participate in their Every Flower Counts survey. Participants who count the number of flowers they see in a square meter patch of their lawn will receive a Personal Nectar Score.

The survey allows people to understand how mowing less actually results in the proliferation of pollen and nectar-rich wildflowers across their lawns. Past surveys are showing encouraging results, according to yahoo!news

In the new  Plantlife survey, the number of people who chose not to mow their lawns rose from 33.6 percent in 2019 to 78.8 percent in 2021.

Past participants counted 250 species growing among their unmowed grass, which provided nectar and pollen for the 100 species of pollinators they recorded seeing. Having dandelions on the lawn is also good news; eight dandelions can make enough nectar to sustain one adult bumblebee!

No Mow expands to the US
This movement is now buzzing into the US, with many cities adopting Plantlife’s “pardon our weeds, we’re feeding the bees” approach. In 2022, some 25 American cities are promoting No Mow May, according to this WKBW TV video. Given that some 30 to 75 percent of the food people eat needs to be pollinated in order to produce, saving pollinators is critical for survival.

As insects and pollinators are now buzzing around and many native species have not yet flowered, May is an important time to let grass lawns grow, reported CBS 58. So let that grass grow greener and higher, and strengthen those important pollinators.

This May, put your lawnmower to rest in the garage. Not mowing your lawn gives you more time to appreciate nature’s beauty right in your backyard, it boosts the environment, and also offers a feast for birds, bees, butterflies, and moths.

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