Take the NO MOW MAY Challenge!
The Pollinator Pathway wants you to take the challenge: let your lawn grow for the whole month of May. That’s right—Do Nothing! Leave your mower in the garage until June. Let your green lawn turn into a riot of color with buttercups, clover, dandelions and daisies that will offer much-needed food for our beleaguered bees and butterflies who are starving after a long winter. Every flower counts when it comes to providing a meal for our pollinators, so it makes sense that cutting your lawn in early spring is not the best thing to do.
Understandably, if this is your first time it may be hard to get comfortable with a bit of messiness. Here’s a suggestion: don’t go “all the way”. Start small if changing in one fell swoop is too much. Give your lawn a partial haircut instead of a full buzz cut by leaving islands or streams of lawn untouched by the mower where the wildflowers can bloom. Try mowing wide paths so you can walk around, watch the activity and enjoy the changing shapes and colors. Have these paths lead to a bench, a birdbath, a statue, or a big pot of flowers. If you’re worried about what the neighbors will say, mow a buffer along the edges and along your driveway and walkways. Then ask your neighbors to stop working so hard and join the fun; after all, No Mow May saves time, saves money, provides for quiet relaxation, and eliminates noise and air pollution (the EPA attributes 5% of U.S. air pollution to mowers). Natural landscapes attract more bird species providing a chance for birdwatching, and they offer opportunities for photography, painting, or simply observing our native wildflowers. May will come again in 11 months, so take your time, see what happens, and by all means have fun.