Instead of ‘No Mow May,’ Try ‘Slow Mow Summer’

hero

We may earn a commission from links on this page.


Lawns, mowed short, give us space for dogs and kids to play. They also keep our neighbors from making complaints to the town government or homeowners’ association. But a closely-cropped lawn is a flower-free monoculture. Some organizations are encouraging a “No Mow May” to allow wildflowers in the grass to bloom—benefiting pollinators—before we start cutting grass down for the season. 

There’s a huge caveat worth noting here: Ecological organizations say that No Mow May doesn’t do much for pollinators if all you do is let your grass grow for a month and then get back to your usual lawn care. (It can even be bad for your grass.) Instead, consider how you can help pollinators in your yard with other approaches, like a “slow mow summer.” 

What is No Mow May?

Originated by Plantlife in the UK, No Mow May is described as a movement that aims to “Provide a feast for pollinators, tackle pollution, reduce urban heat extremes, and lock away atmospheric carbon below ground.” 

Plantlife asks people to pledge not to mow their lawn during May, and they encourage participants to discuss plant diversity with their neighbors and on social media. Lawns have taken over areas that were once meadow, leaving pollinators with fewer flowers to feed on. People should really be cultivating gardens and meadows, not just lawns, the argument goes. No Mow May is a step toward that. 

Is it actually good to stop mowing your grass in May? 

According to most U.S.-based conservation organizations: no. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation writes in a blog: “Let’s be honest, if all you’re doing is letting dandelions and other weeds bloom, that’s not good quality [pollinator] habitat—and any benefits will be canceled if you power up your mower and restart as if nothing has changed once June arrives. We can’t pat ourselves on the back and say, ‘Yay, we saved the bees.’”

The Bee Lab at the University of Minnesota agrees: “People should not take the catch phrase ‘No Mow May’ literally.” 

Minimal environmental benefits aside, No Mow May can potentially harm your grass. Lawns are healthiest when you only trim off some of their height, so you don’t want to let your grass get a foot tall and then chop it down to nothing. (That end-of-May cut isn’t good for your mower, either.)

What to do instead of No Mow May

Conservation organizations appreciate the sentiment of No Mow May, but prefer that we channel our energy into more holistic approaches like a Slow Mow Spring or Slow Mow Summer, extending the mission of No Mow May across an entire season.

Here are a  few things that can help your yard to provide more food for pollinators, and more beneficial habitat for other living things like birds:

  • Mow less often throughout the season, and use a higher blade height on your mower. Longer grass keeps the soil moist, and the taller mowing height allows small flowers to bloom.

  • Plant native and beneficial flowers in your lawn, like clover, selfheal, and violets. 

  • Grow a mini-meadow or wildflower garden that is separate from your lawn.

  • Grow other pollinator-friendly plants besides just the ones that grow in grass. Shrubs, garden plants, and window boxes can all contribute.

The Bee Lab also points out that careful timing of mowing can help, depending on what grows in your yard. For example, you can allow weeds like dandelions to flower, and then mow them before they go to seed. That allows pollinators to visit the flowers, but stops those particular weeds from spreading.

Adblock test (Why?)

Link to original source


دیدگاه‌ها

دیدگاهتان را بنویسید

نشانی ایمیل شما منتشر نخواهد شد. بخش‌های موردنیاز علامت‌گذاری شده‌اند *

این سایت از اکیسمت برای کاهش هرزنامه استفاده می کند. بیاموزید که چگونه اطلاعات دیدگاه های شما پردازش می‌شوند.