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No Mow or Low Mow May

Are you wondering what "No Mow May" is all about? It's a movement gaining traction in the US to provide nectar for early pollinators. Many of our native bees and moths emerge in March, April, and May, and nectar plants are hard to find this time of year. But our lawn, if kept longer, provide many flowering species that support pollinators. You can choose to take the first month off, mow less often, or mow higher (at least 4", many flowers will bloom underneath). Here's a testimonial from Jenn Houle, WN2 member who designed our beautiful No Mow May signs (limited signs available under Events).


 

Last season I participated in No Mow May for the first year. It was exciting, but also a little anxiety provoking to let my lawn grow, uncut for the whole month. I knew the approach looked much different than the lawn care standards on my street, but with a helpful sign out front I hoped to inspire others to join in! One neighbor did, and no one else complained. I opted to leave both my front and back lawns unmown, but could potentially explore the 'mullet' approach of closer crop in the front and untamed lawn locks in the back.

I was delighted to find a huge variety of beautiful native wildflower species growing throughout my property! The previous spring I had envied the bright bluets growing down the street and by not cutting my grass I found their little star faces scattered everywhere. Blue-purple violets clustered near native strawberries in large patches in my front yard. The white native strawberry

flowers were almost always being pollinated by bees (who carried on their business undeterred by my toddler & I closely observing them.) I even discovered sprigs of blue-eyed grass already established, which ironically was a species I had purchased seeds from the Wild Seed Project to try to cultivate on my own.

Allowing the growth of the lawn throughout the yard also led me to discover big patches of blue-wood aster and wrinkle-leaf goldenrod in the borders of my yard. In the prior year I had cut back these areas, and now I was able to identify the plants by their leaf pattern then let these important late fall pollinator bloomers support wildlife through the growing season. Another great discovery was that I had a whole patch of milkweed growing where previously I thought there was only one plant!

The lawn did grow to 3' in height. I was able to mow it with our older ride-on lawn mower at the start of June. When doing this I was reluctant to cut areas of dense wildflower growth, so began to leave little islands of un-mown beauty throughout the lawn - consider them a mini oasis for pollinators to visit! Through the growing season I cut the lawn every 3-5 weeks, and would create new patches of wildflowers and cut old ones back once they grew too high.

I'll be participating in No Mow May this year and am looking forward to 'Discovering the Blooms Beneath'!

-- Jenn Houle she/her/herswww.jennhoule.com


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