No Mow May

For anyone looking to reduce the amount of jobs on their to-do list, can I perhaps suggest taking part in ‘No Mow May’. You simply just don’t cut the grass for a whole month.

Now I am not talking about letting our lawns get completely overgrown but to just reduce the mowing to about every 4 weeks, and to perhaps choose some areas where the grass can grow just that little bit longer. (Shorter lawns with flowers like dandelions, daisies and clover etc actually produce the most amount of nectar and highest amount of flowers, however longer grass allows a more diverse range of flowers.)

‘No Mow May’ is a project run by Plantlife in which, other than asking you not to mow your lawn for a month, also includes a citizen science action called ‘Every Flower Counts’ to be held on 23rd – 31st May where you can first register that you are participating in ‘No Mow May’ and then conduct a flower count in your garden and submit your results. (I am thinking this could hopefully be a popular homeschool activity?!)

The reason why this is important is that we really need to support our bees (and other pollinators), as they are of vital importance to the health of our ecosystem. Unfortunately, (according to a report in the Biological Conservation journal) 97% of British wildflower meadows have disappeared since the 1930s. Hence we need to find more ways to increase the amount of suitable habitat for our pollinators.

I had actually already reduced my grass cutting habits to much less than every 4 weeks last year (leaving at least 3-5cm of grass), and so for this year I have increased my efforts by now leaving all of the edges of the garden to grow extra long so that I can hopefully increase the diversity of the wild flowers. In terms of actually planting the right flowers, I am not at all green fingered but have at least managed to create a new border in my front garden where I have thrown down some ‘Bee Bombs’ and planted some lavender. (It is not only easy to grow but is apparently a great flower to attract pollinators.)

If you want to get even more involved, I can also recommend the ‘Bee Saver Kit’ from Friends of the Earth that we got for World Bee Day last year.

In terms of when I do eventually cut the grass, it will be sad to cut the tops off of the daisy’s etc however luckily most of these types of flowers are actually stimulated to grow more when they are cut. But by simply mowing the lawn a little less often it can potentially result in the lawn producing up to 10 times the amount of nectar than if it was cut more regularly.

So now all I need to do is to make a sign/Scaremow (another potential homeschool project) to explain to the neighbours why my garden is going to be getting a little bit wild. Plus my boys are also now looking forward to watching the dandelions transform from the yellow flower to the fun ‘make a wish’ seedpuffs (obviously not their technical name) that would normally be a victim of the lawnmower before they had time to transform!