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Let It Grow: "No Mow May + Slow Mow June"

Let It Grow:  "No Mow May + Slow Mow June"

"No Mow May" and "Slow Mow June" are initiatives aimed at promoting biodiversity and supporting local ecosystems by changing lawn care practices.

No Mow May

Concept:

  • Encourages homeowners to refrain from mowing their lawns for the entire month of May.
  • The primary goal is to allow wildflowers and other plants to grow and bloom, providing a critical early-season food source for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and other insects.

Benefits:

  • Pollinator Support: By letting lawns grow, a variety of flowers can emerge, offering nectar and pollen for pollinators that are emerging from hibernation.
  • Biodiversity: An unmown lawn supports a greater diversity of plants and insects, creating a more resilient ecosystem.
  • Environmental Impact: Reducing mowing saves energy and reduces emissions from lawnmowers, contributing to a lower carbon footprint.

Slow Mow June

Concept:

  • Following "No Mow May," "Slow Mow June" encourages people to mow their lawns less frequently, such as every three to four weeks instead of weekly.
  • This practice extends the benefits seen in May, allowing more flowers to grow and providing continued support for pollinators.

Benefits:

  • Continued Pollinator Support: By mowing less often, flowers can continue to bloom, providing ongoing resources for pollinators.
  • Plant Diversity: Allows different species of plants to complete their life cycles, leading to a more varied plant community.
  • Water Conservation: Longer grass retains moisture better, reducing the need for frequent watering and helping conserve water.
  • Soil Health: Less frequent mowing can improve soil health by reducing soil compaction and allowing organic matter to accumulate.

Implementation Tips

  • Awareness and Education: Inform neighbors and local communities about the purpose and benefits of these initiatives to gain broader support.
  • Adjusting Mowing Practices: If a full month without mowing isn't feasible, consider mowing less frequently or setting the mower to a higher cutting height.
  • Creating Pollinator Patches: Designate specific areas of the lawn to remain unmown throughout the growing season to create permanent pollinator habitats.

Potential Challenges

  • Aesthetic Preferences: Some people may prefer the look of a well-manicured lawn and might find these practices less appealing.
  • HOA Regulations: Homeowners associations or local regulations may have rules about lawn maintenance that conflict with these initiatives.
  • Pest Concerns: There may be concerns about increased pests, such as ticks, in taller grass, though research often shows these concerns can be managed with proper practices.

Overall, "No Mow May" and "Slow Mow June" are part of a growing movement to make urban and suburban spaces more wildlife-friendly and environmentally sustainable.

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