No Mow May

“No Mow May.” I heard this term for the first time last week. Judging by my Socratic inquiries, most of the people I know have never heard the term either. But “No Mow May” is an increasingly national movement to . . . . are you ready? Do NOt MOW your lawn during the month of MAY. . . .

No Mow May is an environmental movement intended to allow grasses/lawns to grow undisturbed for an entire month. The purpose is to help provide a safe haven for pollinators (mainly bees) and other wildlife. The effort will thereby have a positive impact on local ecosystems and reduce emissions from lawn mowers and leaf blowers.

After learning about the term while playing golf at a perfectly manicured golf course, I drove home — keeping watch for No Mow May lawns. And interestingly there were a few. Most were covered with high grass and dandelions. Notwithstanding good intentions, there has been criticism of No Mow May given that pollinators will settle in (“Martha, isn’t this a beautiful lawn? Let’s pollinate!“) and on June 1st – be shredded to pieces with the first mowing. It has also been criticized given a propensity for fungal disease. One of the suggested options would be that each homeowner simply allot a small square/area of property where the grass can grow, the pollinators thrive and the condition of the rest of the lawn remain attractive.

One suggestion I have is — is to simply go back to the old push lawn mowers and lawn rakes. We’ll call it “Push Mower May.”