Gardeners in the UK are locking up their lawnmowers for 'No Mow May'

·2-min read
"No Mow May" is Plantlife’s campaign encouraging people not to mow their lawns during May, and to continue to mow less and at different lengths and frequencies throughout the summer.

In the UK, some garden owners are choosing not to mow their lawns this month. The decision is intended to encourage the preservation of biodiversity, since this time of year is the most opportune moment to provide a food source for pollinating insects.

Lock up your lawnmowers for "No Mow May," the campaign organized by the British non-profit organization "Plantlife." But what exactly is the point of not mowing your lawn during the fifth month of the year? The answer is to allow wild plants to thrive and provide nectar for pollinating insects , especially bees. "When it comes to providing vital nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other insects, every flower counts. And your lawn can help provide that feast," the organization explains.

Each year, Plantlife carries out its " Every Flower Counts " (EFC) survey, which tracks how Britons manage their gardens. In 2021, 78.8% of the 2,157 respondents did not mow their lawn in May, an increase of 33.6% compared to 2019, the NGO notes.

But why May? Precisely because it is the time of year when flowers produce nectar, which is essential for the survival of bees, bumblebees and other pollinating insects. Not mowing your lawn at this time of year provides a food source for these foragers, and is therefore an excellent way to help preserve biodiversity.

According to Plantlife, a "100 m² area of lawn would produce enough pollen to stock up six mining bee brood cells and enough nectar sugar to meet the baseline needs of six bumblebees a day."

But it is also the perfect opportunity to discover new plants. According to the "Every Flower Counts" survey, more than 250 species of wild plants were counted in British gardens last year, from wild strawberries and wild garlic to rarer species such as the adders'-tongue fern, meadow saxifrage, snake's-head fritillary and eyebright.

After May, people with a garden or lawn are encouraged to mow less often throughout the summer and to leave at least part of their garden untouched. In short, don't mow in May, let it grow in June and cut in moderation throughout the summer!

Léa Drouelle

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