If you’re a fan of gardening or sustainability, you may have heard of No Mow May. This is a relatively new movement that encourages people to think about how they interact with local wildlife, insects and nature during this month - especially as the weather starts to become warmer. But what is No Mow May and where did it start?
No Mow May 2023
The beginning of May and the first signs of summer is usually the sign that gardeners need to restart their lawncare routines - including regular mowing.
No Mow May aims to buck this trend and encourages gardeners to let their lawns grow during May, allowing for wild plants to set seed and encouraging more diversity across Britain’s landscapes.
Now a regular staple in the annual calendar, No Mow May has returned for 2023 and continues to encourage gardeners to keep the mower locked up until June.
Why is May the ‘No Mow Month’?
Started in 2019 by conservation charity Plantlife, No Mow May 2023 is an easy way for people to support their local ecosystem and all of the wildlife that relies on it.
While lawn maintenance is very minimal during the colder winter months, regular mowing is always high on the agenda once spring breaks, with a Plantlife survey suggesting that the majority of gardeners mow every two weeks.
May is considered the ‘window to summer’ and is the point at which dormant grass starts to shoot up. It’s at this point that most gardeners start to get outside and begin their prepping for summer with regular mowing.
This is why Plantlife is calling for gardeners to push their agenda back a month, giving local wildlife and nature time to build a foothold before any disruption.
Why take part in No Mow May?
Since the UK saw a severe drought last year, there has been an overall change in attitude towards the traditional ‘perfect lawn’ and gardeners have started accepting more wildflowers, plants and other nature.
For the first time ever, some of the gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show this year will feature weeds such as bramble and thistle, while more and more people are turning to alternative ‘resilient gardens’ in their own homes.
At a time when wild meadows are disappearing, along with various species of bees, hoverflies and other insects, avoiding the ‘big May mow’ allows for more pollination, wildlife diversity and hopefully, reversing this negative trend.
In cases highlighted by gardeners around the UK, avoiding mowing in May and July can also benefit growth for desirable plants, with more nectar available for bees and other pollinators.
While Plantlife doesn’t want to stop people mowing entirely, the ultimate goal is to change the way people think about gardening and their mowing habits - ensuring that we don’t destory local ecosystems in our attempts to get the perfect lawn.