Don't mow in May

I came across a reference to this in The Times. A bit of Googling produced:

It sounds like a brilliant idea as it should allow pollinating insects the chance to breed.
We already have a wildflower ‘meadow’ in our garden but I feel very inclined to give this a try. But I’ll probably mow one strip down the middle of the garden so that I can make it to the other end (where our compost bins are).


We have never been very good gardeners and I used to worry about the lawn not being cut and the number of dandelions and other weeds that we had. I’ve stopped worrying about it since I realised that areas of long grass were good for all sorts of wildlife, and that weeds were also beneficial! We’ve had a wonderful crop of dandelions this year, although I do still try and nip the heads off once they’ve flowered.

There is a young person locally who’s made signs to go on the verges asking for them not to be cut; they’ve had a lot of support. Our local swift group has also been actively talking to the council about the cutting of verges, because it has an impact on the number of insects and hence on the swifts and their survival.

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I have taken to ‘strategic’ mowing - only cutting areas where there is little other than the grass (and moss!). Cowslips, speedwells, daisies, dandelions, and self-heal are all left to do their thing. The only ones I do not spare are the grape hyacinths.
It looks messy. But then, so do I.


I may have a go at some of the docks - not sure I want too many of them. I don’t mind a few nettles but, again, I don’t want them taking over. Fortunately, our combination of removing cuttings and growing yellow rattle does seem gradually to be reducing the soil fertility. We’ve got a nice crop of ox-eye daisies, red campion and common toadflax coming along.

I mowed my lawn for the first time this year last week and the blackbirds and robins seem most grateful! The number of worms they’ve pulled out since, its a wonder there’s any left! There seems to be a pair of mistle thrushes nearby too, making regular visits to a neighbour’s garden.

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I tried to post a photo of our lawn after not mowing but for some reason it won’t upload. Is there a size limit?

To the forum, you mean? Yes there is a limit and the forum server as actually a bit short of space at the moment - to be increased shortly. The size limit is larger for observations.

Thanks for the explanation!