Typically a homeowner in any neighborhood that doesn’t regularly mow the lawn is viewed as being lazy, inattentive and neglectful. However, homeowners are actually being encouraged not to mow their lawns this month because it can help bees and other pollinators get the habitat and forage they need in the critical early part of the season, especially in urbanized areas where floral resources are often limited.
More than a decade ago, the No Mow May initiative began in the United Kingdom and it has spread across North America in recent years. This week, the 2021 No Mow May campaign got an endorsement from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Studies have shown that unmown lawns in the spring increase the abundance and richness of bees and other pollinators during the key spring season when they serve as pollen delivery systems for many plant species and are credited with an increase in the growth of clover and native violets in yards and wildflowers in gardens.
Some homeowners go to great lengths throughout the season to keep their yards in immaculate shape and won’t participate in No Mow May. In addition, some cities have rules about mowing lawns regularly so that may be an issue in some areas, but during the early portion of spring, the DNR is encouraging people to think about being part of No Mow May. It may seem against homeowner etiquette, but the conservation efforts at this time of year for pollinators make it worth it to some homeowners – even if the perception might be that they’re lazy.