As summer is fast approaching, and a mixture of April showers and sunny weather has given a burst of growth to British gardens, it may feel like it’s time to get out the lawnmower and tidy things up.
If you’re looking for an excuse to lay off the gardening this month, this is it.
Research conducted by charity organisation Plantlife has found that reducing the number of times you cut your lawn to just once a month, can help plants provide enough nectar to feed ten times as many bees and other pollinators as mowing more frequently.
They are launching the #NoMowMay2021 campaign which encourages garden owners to avoid cutting their grass in the month of May and to instead let their garden flourish with flowers and wildlife.
Creatures such as butterflies, moths, hedgehogs, frogs, bees, dragonflies and birds all need longer grass to thrive, and letting your lawn grow will increase the abundance and diversity in which they come in.
While it is common for Brits to mow their gardens on a weekly basis during the summer months, a recent survey found that the majority of residents in Nottingham only cut their lawns once every 2-4 months.
CBJ Target has spoken to the people of Nottingham in order to reveal their lawn mowing habits.
Nottingham resident Liz Sisson said that she cuts the grass in her back garden once per week on average.
“It mostly depends on the time of year and the weather, but if it is wet and warm the grass will grow quickly so it needs cutting more often.”
The Plantlife study also found that areas of longer unmown grass were “more diverse in their range of flowers” with other nectar-rich plants such as oxeye daisy, field scabious and knapweed increasing the range of nectar sources for different pollinators.
Sherwood resident Hannah Nicholson said that she mows her garden just three times per year.
“I have three sections of lawn in my garden.
“One is rarely mowed as it is a wildflower garden and left to grow fairly rough in order to encourage the flowers to grow and I have also planted a tree there.
“The other two lawns are mowed only when they get a little too long, which is partly to do with time.
“A large garden requires a lot of work and unless it looks untidy and overgrown, I don’t mind too much if they are a little longer.”
Reducing the number of times you mow your lawn not only has the benefit of having more wildlife.
Plantlife calculations show that if you normally spend an hour cutting the lawn every weekend, adopting the #NoMowMay approach could cut your CO2 footprint by 293kg per year and save you 24 hours of mowing time.