‘No Mow May’ is Sweeping Across Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire and That’s a BEE-utiful Thing
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Oh we do love our lush, green, weed-free lawns. They're absolutely gorgeous to look at driving up and down the Seacoast or during road trips around New England.
Whether you have your own yard to take care of, have a gardener, or just enjoy seeing other lawns, this love affair with beautiful landscaping is center stage for half the year,
But may I please take a moment to tell you about No Mow May, which is taking off all over New England? It was actually first adopted in Appleton, Wisconsin, during stay-at-home, according to Bee City USA, so its sweep across the country is finally catching on.
We know dandelions and other overgrown weeds and grass are unsightly and often considered a sign of neglecting your lawn; however, do you think you could live with it for a few weeks?
If those of us with lawns take a moment to avoid mowing, we can help increase the abundance and diversity of our bees and other pollinators. So, welcome to No Mow May.
Now if you're reading this into May or even after, I encourage you to not only remember it for next year, but still participate on your own volition this year and maybe have another 'no mow month' or even just a couple of weeks.
No matter how you participate, the general idea of not mowing is a conservation initiative according to Bee City USA.
First popularized by Plantlife, an organization based in the United Kingdom, but which is gaining traction across North America. The goal of No Mow May is to allow grass to grow unmown for the month of May, creating habitat and forage for early season pollinators. This is particularly important in urban areas where floral resources are often limited.
Oh, here's one more note: if you live in an area with an overgrowth and weed ordinance or regulation, then something that towns have done is get city officials to suspend it during May.
In a study from the inaugural No Mow May year, by the way, residents that participated had three times more of bee species richness and five-times higher bee abundance than nearby parks that had been mowed.
By the way, if you're asking yourself, "what's the big deal about bee pollination," then the simple answer is that it's the most important thing that bees do, and needed for plants and flowers to reproduce. Most of the plants you see every day depend on bees and other insects as pollinators, according to Bees Techno Science.
What a BEE-utiful thing.
Oh, and if the bees and conservation aren't doing it for you, then how about this: No Mow May bee pollination supporter and home improvement extraordinaire Bob Villa adds that you'll have better color for the season with a much healthier lawn.