'No Mow May' campaign asking us to leave the lawn alone until June to help save bees

We’re on lockdown and for some people who are trying to fight the boredom, gardening becomes a way to keep them busy. Part of their gardening activities would have to be mowing the lawn and trimming the grass, but did you know that you can skip this part if you wanted to see more flowers?

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According to a study conducted by Plantlife, not mowing in May or simply doing the “No Mow May” challenge will actually result in a fuller lawn with more flowers to bless your sight every waking morning.

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Through research conducted by Plantlife in the previous year, they asked citizen scientists across the United Kingdom to participate in a project called “Every Flower Counts”. It is considered to be the largest survey ever done to study the lawns and it required some people to not mow their lawns throughout May.

It appears that there are indeed certain benefits in not mowing.

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The huge number of flora found in lawns

Participants in “Every Flower Counts” who did not mow their lawns noticed a big variety in the flowers that grew in their gardens. The study concluded that about 200 species were found t grow in unmowed lawns and some of these are rare plants such as meadow saxifrage, knotted clover, and eyebright.

The study also noted that the top three flowers that grow on lawns are daisies, selfheal, and white clover. This was concluded after counting over half a million flowers, 191,200 of them are daisies.

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The reduction in costs

Not mowing the lawn certainly results in lower costs, because people skip the regular mowing and therefore saves on the mowing cost for the month. It’s not even a bad thing because leaving the lawn unmowed for May can result in better diversity and plant life in your garden, which makes it even prettier and more relaxing to look at.

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The increased biodiversity

Did you know that not mowing the lawn can also increase the population of bees in your garden for up to 10 times? These bees are great pollinators and are actually the reason why not mowing can lead to more flowers! To quantify, “Every Flower Counts” found that 80% of lawns supported an equivalent of around 400 bees a day from the nectar sugar produced by flowers such as dandelion, white clover, and selfheal. But 20% of lawns, also referred to as “super lawns” were found to be supporting 10 times as many – or up to 4000 bees a day!

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The staggering increase in nectar

More flowers also mean more nectar. After some people participated in the project, it was found that the first-ever National Nectar Score for lawns got to an all-time high. All lawn flowers in the survey combined produced a colossal 23kg of nectar sugar per day, enough to support 2.1 million – or around 60,000 hives – of honeybees.

Wow, those are quite the numbers!

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After the study, Plantlife’s Botanical Specialist, Dr. Trevor Dines, explained how we can work things out to our advantage.

“In any garden, big or small, we’d now advise keeping two lengths of grass. Leave some patches completely unmown to let taller flowers come into bloom. For the rest of the lawn, you can keep the grass shorter by mowing once every month to a height of 1 or 2 inches. You’ll cut off some flowers when you do mow but they’ll come back quickly; you can even rotate patches around your garden so there are always some areas in flower. For flowers, bees and butterflies there is one lawn ‘haircut’ that really suits: the Mohican. Most should be given a monthly cut to boost short sward plants but there should also ideally be an area set aside for longer grass where floral diversity abounds.”

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Ian Dunn, Plantlife’s CEO, has emphasized on how having a beautiful garden can be a sort of relief for people who are being stressed out because of the pandemic if only they can keep themselves from mowing and try to participate in the project.

“With COVID-19 restrictions in place, many people are finding some solace in their gardens. Observing up close like never before wildflowers and the wildlife they attract. After a mild winter, spring has been superb for flowers like dandelions and daisies and, as tempting as it might be to get the mower out while on lockdown, these results highlight in bold the botanical jewels that reward patience. Parking the mower can be the best decision people can make this May as Every Flower Counts at the end of the month will show.”

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You see, gardening and finding calmness through it doesn’t have to be working on the lawn all day. This amazing initiative suggests that you can also find an incredible garden if you learn to just wait and let the grass grow taller.

All you have to do is observe and see if there will be beautiful changes and who knows, you might just see some rare flowers growing in your lawn, making it even more special and one-of-a-kind.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Return to Now, Plantlife

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