What is “No Mow May?”

Historically, the “American” lawn is known as a groomed, green, weed-free yard. Most homeowners keep up on the constant mowing, raking, fertilizing, weeding, etc. of their yards year-round.

Today, many lawn-owners are rethinking this “norm” and instead participate in “No Mow May.”

No Mow May means exactly what you think -not mowing your lawn for the month of May. The point of this movement is to let the wild flowers in your lawn bloom, providing items for pollinators to feast on.

Some benefits of not cutting your lawn this month include: 

  • Dandelions will pop up, which provide important nectar for pollinators. According to Plantlife, just eight dandelion flowers may produce enough nectar sugar to meet an adult bumblebee’s baseline energy needs.
  • People who chose not to mow are rewarded with rare plants, including wild strawberry, wild garlic, adder’s-tongue fern and meadow saxifrage.
  • Last year, 250 wild plant species were recorded by gardeners who took part in No Mow May.
  • Nectar is provided for insects. With 15 million gardens in Britain, our lawns have the potential to become major sources of nectar.
no mow may facts

How can you take part in No Mow May this year?

Participating in this campaign is simple, no matter the size of your garden or yard.

All you have to do is:

1. Don’t mow your yard for the whole month of May and let the flowers grow!

2. From 23rd to 31st May, take part in the Every Flower Counts initiative by counting the number of flowers in a random square meter of your lawn.

3. Enter your counts on their website to receive your own Personal Nectar Score. This will show you how much nectar is being produced by the flowers on your lawn and how many pollinators it can support.

What to take into account before participating:

  • Your city may have laws/HOA rules about how your lawn must be kept.
  • It may take a lot of effort to get your lawn back under control after letting native flowers/weeds grow for a full month.
  • Consider alternatives to “No Mow May” if this is not the best fit for you.

Alternatives that still help Pollinators:

  • Create a pollinator-designed garden.
  • Mow less this May. Often, people will mow their lawns once a week. Cut back on this to once every 2 weeks, as it is proven that this instead can still significantly increase the bee population size.
pollinator habitat for May
bee enjoying no mow may on wildflowers

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