What's the Deal With: No Mow May?

A good excuse to escape yardwork
May 11, 2022 at 5:35 a.m.
An international anti-lawn mowing movement has made its way to Bellingham.
An international anti-lawn mowing movement has made its way to Bellingham. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)

Staff Reporter

An international movement, born in the United Kingdom, is calling for folks to stop mowing their lawns through the month of May, and it's made it to Bellingham.

Unmowed lawns give wildflowers and weeds, like dandelions and clover, the opportunity to grow, supporting bees. Over the last few years, bees have been dying at an alarming rate

While there's some disagreement in the scientific community about the month's efficacy, professors at Wisconsin’s Lawrence University found No Mow May lawns had “five times higher bee abundances than frequently-mowed greenspaces.”

“I don’t believe [No Mow May] is a science-based recommendation,” wrote Linda Chalker-Scott, a Washington State University horticulture professor.

Researchers at the University of Maryland said infrequent mowing can “shock” plants. Leaving lawns unmowed can also lead to a sharp increase in ticks and invasive plant species.

No Mow May could be the best excuse to get out of yard work and save the bees, but it may not be the healthiest choice for lawns.

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