No Mow May is the best way to start. Just stop cutting the grass for the glorious month of May.
By locking away the lawn mower for a few weeks, it’s not just the grass you will be letting grow. Lawns are made up of a tapestry of plants that nestle in amongst the grass-clover, plantain, and daisies, to name just a few. And they need to flower and set seed to thrive, which in turn allows bees, butterflies, and other insects to feed and shelter.
To encourage and support this biodiversity, try mowing just once a month, instead of weekly.
This allows the short-grass species (such as daisies, white clovers, and bird’s-foot trefoil) to produce new, nutrient-rich flowers, boosting nectar production for hungry bees.
And for the very best results, leave some patches completely unmown throughout the whole summer. You may discover hidden treasures blooming, such as the taller oxeye daisy, red clover, field scabious, and knapweed. It’ll become a wildflower patch and an insect’s haven (they will shelter in the long stems, long after summer has passed).
But don’t worry if you need to cut the lawn to picnic on or kick a football. Just remember to leave some areas rough and relaxed.
Not just this May, but every month…..
Plantlife Survey, May 22 – 31st
Join our friends at the charity Plantlife, in their simple survey of the humble lawn - Every Flower Counts.
It’s easy to do, and you will be helping build up a picture of just how diverse our lawn plant life is.
Last year’s results revealed not only the astonishing diversity of wildflowers growing on Britain’s lawns, but that simple changes in mowing can result in enough nectar for ten times more bees and other pollinators.
Plantlife’s Dr Trevor Dine says “When it comes to providing vital nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other insects, every flower counts.”
The survey found that
- Over 200 species were found flowering on lawns including rarities such as meadow saxifrage, knotted clover, and eyebright. In all, over half a million flowers were counted, including 191,200 daisies.
- These flowers combined would produce a colossal 23kg of nectar sugar per day, enough to support 2.1 million honeybees. That’s 400 bees a day on a regular lawn that had dandelions, white clover, and daisies. And a whopping 4000 bees a day on ‘super lawns’ – those which hadn’t been cut.