How beneficial really is "No Mow May?"

I think this is key to recognise. It’s also important for the organisations pushing No Mow May to be very conscious of this and have a plan to take people beyond this level. It’s like feeding birds in your garden - it can be a gateway for children and others to get to know local biodiversity, and to start to care more about non-human species, but in itself is not especially beneficial to biodiversity and can even be detrimental. There should be clarity about what exactly the educational aims are.

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But the other months don’t have alliteration!

This article says it was started in 2019 by Plantlife:
https://apnews.com/article/gardening-no-mow-may-lawns-6aa1669b9e9bb5b5d8ea671c44d186f2

Forego Flail February
Impede Pare April

And for the southerners:
Cease Strimming September
Quit Cutting October
No Nibbling November

Enough.

Desist from defoliating in December.
Right, that is the last one.

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I’ve never heard of the movement, but I did chuckle when someone above said May was “early spring” because I would say my May is late spring and early spring is about Valentine’s Day!

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Ours is simply No Mow starting in winter and running to November to allow wildflowers to set seed for next year. Southern hemisphere - you are probably all up North.

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What’s wild to me is people will say things like, “Dandelions are great! They’re edible and in the sunflower family!” Well, so is lettuce, artichoke, marigold, burdock, endive, radicchio, actual sunflowers, etc. - dandelions aren’t special for that!

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seeds are part of the equation, but around my parts, tall grasses – even when brown – provide winter shelter for all sorts of animals. that’s usually more of a prairie situation rather than a lawn though. (in a lawn, i think the idea is more to just let leaf litter accumulate – and maybe even make little piles – to provide shelter for the things living there.)

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How many people saying that have really tried it, I wonder? I have never figured out how to reduce the bitterness of dandelions down to where I could stand them.

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The flowers fry up ok. As to the bitter leaves, well that’s why they made ranch dressing.

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Bitter salad leaves are part of Italian meals.
Rocket, chickory, dandelion leaves, nasturtium leaves, mustard greens.
Full of vitimultimins AKA phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.

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Lemon juice. Or wine vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, if you like that flavor. I use lemon juice for the Brassica Gemmifera group, wine vinegar and cooking wine for the Acephala group, balsamic vinegar or sweeter apple cider vinegars for anything else with a strong bitter flavor.

Bitter supertaster = culinary creativity.

Bringing it back to the original subject, if I had bothered to mow last spring, I wouldn’t have had a bumper crop of Chenipodium come summer. :laughing:

I’ve always liked leaving the yard minimally groomed. For one, I want to enjoy my garden, not exhaust myself maintaining it. Two, I hope that I’m proving to the neighbors that biodiversity isn’t a four-letter-word. (At the very least, I’m cementing our reputation as the neighborhood Morticia and Gomez Addams.) My personal model of Purgatory is a giant, unnaturally green, immaculately groomed, monoculture lawn; probably Bluegrass in a place where it doesn’t belong.

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Our tapestry hedge on our hell strip is probably a four letter word to our neighbours. We are the only green verge. We have one borehole? irrigated green lawn, much gravel, some brick paving - down our street.
Altho I have only heard one complaint - from an ex-neighbour who had sold, and was moving on.

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Purgatory is only an intermediate state of suffering. The next step, which is increasing in British gardens and churchyards, is plastic grass.

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It depends.
At the latitude of where I live, at low elevations, from April to late June most species flowers and set seeds. These months are foundamental for pollinators and plant species, either antive or introduced.
Unfortunately, our administrators are totaly unaware of this or are fixated with their own, disagreable concept of urban decency or both and plan swaths right in this period.

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I was wondering. Seriously. As in, I was wondering why some people refuse any dressing with actual flavor and only want flavorless, watered-down sour cream (a.k.a. “ranch dressing”).

Now those are ideas I should try. Thanks!

I expect we’ll see that more and more in California, too, as a “water-saving” option. I already know of an entire park like that.

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We had a neighbor who kept calling the city code office on us. He’s gone as well. The people who bought the house are not quite as botanically free-spirited as we are, but they’re a major improvement. If they aren’t fans of living across the street from a cottage-garden-meets-prairie, they haven’t complained about it, either.

Hmmm. That’s a far more serious offense. As I recall, Dante placed heresy and heretics in the Sixth Circle of the Inferno. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Around here it’s beneficial in at least as much as an easy introduction to leaving the mower in the shed. Few people will dive right in and rewind their gardens but this gives Tham pause to think.

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I think No Mow May is useful and it helps start people thinking about alternatives. It’s a baby step, which some people and municipalities need. The absence of spraying is very more than useful. At my home, we have a kind of landscape mullet… a lawn in front and a meadow in back. The front lawn is losing ground gradually to native plants, spring ephemerals and, soon, sedges. When neighbors ask why I don’t mow until June or later, I point to my bulbs (which they love) and tell them I wait until the tops wither, then I mow (my version of No Mow). We will (slowly) overcome!

Full disclosure: I do not plant exclusively native plants in front. Mostly natives, but anything a pollinator might like and visit, that looks like a meadow plant, that introduces “lawn zombies” to something other than blue fescue is fine by me.

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I live in the municipality that started No Mow May (Appleton, WI) and there’s still fierce opposition among the public about it. There’s literally people protesting every year, saying it makes the town look ugly and uncivilized.

But there are fewer people every year. Is that not a good thing?

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“ugly” is such an absurd thing to worry about. It’s so subjective. Like i think some people’s houses are ugly, i think nearly all large lawns are ugly, i think suits and ties are ugly, i think all kinds of stuff is ugly, and that’s fine, i’m sure some people think i am ugly, but when you start harassing people to change their homes over it that’s a different story. I don’t want people to get rid of giant lawns due to their ugliness, i want them to do so because the lawns are harmful. Though i do think human caused climate change and ecosystem collapse and death of all the bees are ‘ugly’ too

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