No Mow May
Wildlife of the Month Article – Wildflowers in Lawns
Haircuts are one of the luxuries many of us have received since lockdown rules have relaxed. But did you know you can also give your lawn a special haircut that will help wildlife? This haircut is the MOHICAN! So just like a haircut all you need to do is mow the short area of grass every four weeks and let the long bit grow over the summer. Proof of just how much more nectar and pollen is produced by just cutting your grass once a month comes from work by Plantlife, a national organisation who knows a lot about plants! Plantlife has shown that lawns cut every four weeks have the highest production of flowers and nectar, whilst longer unmown grass has a wider range of flowers. So unlike human hair with a multitude of different hair styles, the Mohican’ lawn cut suits all lawns and wildlife!
In the past, naturally occurring wildflowers such as daisies, dandelions, birdsfoot trefoil and clover may have been seen as weeds in a lawn, but in fact they are vital for our pollinators, “between 1980 and 2013, every square kilometre in the UK lost an average of 11 species of bee and hoverfly, so the dense patchwork of lawns provided by British gardens really can throw our pollinators a lifeline. We just have to let the flowers bloom” says Plantlife.
But did you know that growing wildflowers doesn’t just benefit wildlife, it benefits you too! Several studies have shown that by seeing wildflowers boosts our mental health and who doesn’t need a boost after the difficult times we have all been through recently?
So this May join legions of gardeners across the country and say “no” to the mow to help our wildlife and us! Just lock up your lawnmower on May 1st and let the wildflowers in your lawn bloom, providing a feast of nectar for our hungry pollinators. Then mow your lawn once a month and leave a section to grow long (it doesn’t have to be in the middle!).
Photos and information courtesy of Plantlife.