For many of us in lockdown Britain our gardens have become a source of solace. Never have we had so much time to tend to our borders and lawns. There is nothing nicer than a well-tended lawn, with a clearly defined stripe through it.
But this May I am asking if you could leave your lawn as untouched as your own head of hair. Research undertaken by wild flower charity Plantlife discovered that the highest production of flowers and nectar were on lawns cut every four weeks, whilst longer, un-mown grass had a wider range of flowers.
Daisies, clover and bird’s-foot trefoil are superbly adapted to growing on mown lawns producing large numbers of flowers every few weeks. If these flowers are cut off by mowing, it stimulates the plants to produce yet more flowers, boosting nectar production.
May is such an important month for wild flowers and the pollinators that feed on them. If we all left our lawns un-mown for four weeks in May, our lawns could produce ten times more nectar than if they were mown every week.
So whether your garden is big or small, if you are able to leave a patch un-mown and keep the rest short by mowing just once a month you will be rewarded by the greatest diversity of species.
Park your mower this May and make a difference.
If you have heard of this campaign, then you are already a hero. You are going to be giving the bees, birds and butterflies a better chance in life. You will be reducing carbon, helping climate change, cleaning the air and enhancing the local character of your neighbourhood and giving yourself and your community “a thing beauty and a joy forever”.
So a few guidelines to get you started. There is loads more information on Plant Life website: https://plantlife.love-wildflowers.org.uk/roadvergecampaign/inspiring-st...
1.Do cut – now is a great time as soon as rain, frost and yucky weather allows.
2.Lift the cuttings because wild flowers thrive on a low nutrient diet and put the cuttings under the hedge.
3.Put your mower away until August/September and let nature do the work (you can cut once a month if you really need to but then try a Mohican, short sides, and long in the middle).
4.Enjoy the buzz of your admiring neighbours. Post your pics on social media.
5.Cut again in August/ September, remembering to remove the cuttings again and repeat next year for bigger and better results.
6.And, if it doesn’t suit to do a whole garden, then even a square meter will give the bees a buzzing chance!
Why not send in your photographs and story about how you took part in the initiative? We look forward to including them in later editions. Contact us at: email@example.com