No-Mow May

Consider joining the growing trend of letting your lawn bloom as a food source for emerging pollinators. Herbicides and pesticides destroy the natural ecosystem of your yard, so it is time for a new paradigm– embrace a natural lawn. The health of your yard, pets, kids and yourself, as well as the natural wildlife, will benefit tremendously!

Learn more about No-Mow May here.

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
This entry was posted in Country Gardening, My Photos and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

104 Responses to No-Mow May

  1. shoreacres says:

    And if — like me –you have no lawn, at least consider encouraging those who do.

  2. Sheree says:

    I love natural lawns, they’re so pretty and everywhere in France.

  3. We live with deed restrictions. I got written up for letting a Bluebonnet go to seed in a bed.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Time to approach the town council! Times have changed… same old doesn’t work anymore. Education is key. Most folks don’t realize how dire our pollinator situation is. Hope your restrictions can be readdressed.

  4. cindydyer says:

    Love the idea of “No Mow May!” We got rid of ALL the grass in our townhouse yards (front and back) almost as soon as we moved in and never looked back! No mowing, no need to keep the grass looking all perfect!

  5. Dale says:

    I’ve been doing this for years. (Chastised my girlfriend on Sunday for being too much in a rush to pretty up her yard. She didn’t know.)
    Wonderful message, Pam.

  6. Treah Pichette says:

    Excellent! As you know, we created a meadow from a lawn several years ago. And we have seen an increase in insects & bird species feeding every year. Plus it’s a beautiful thing to gaze upon! And then there’s the added benefit of not having to mow (& pollute) our yard weekly. Nothing but positives here!

  7. neihtn2012 says:

    That’s a great idea!

  8. Very good idea and your lawn looks lovely (Suzanne)

  9. spanishwoods says:

    I just heard about this on NPR the other day. What a great idea! 🙂

  10. Alice says:

    There’s also the thought that whatever gets deposited on your yard also gets in the aquifer…sure, water is treated before it arrives at your home & you drink it, but you can’t get rid of all the chemicals. Because we had 2 bee hives for 2 years, we are super, extra aware of what goes on our lawn & the neighbor’s habit of having their yard sprayed w/ pesticides multiple times a year, which can be wind-borne (very upsetting to me). On a happy note, violets have spread enormously & look so gorgeous.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yes, it isn’t just us but the whole neighborhood/town. Thanks for being a beacon in the quest for building a pollinator paradise, Alice!

  11. Robin says:

    We’ve been doing that for a long time. We had such pretty flowers coming up in our lawn (here and in NE Ohio when we lived there) that I couldn’t bear to mow it. It’s a No-Mow March here, though. If we waited until June to mow, the grass would be over our heads. lol! Your image is so beautiful. 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Robin. Yes, I thought about southern gardeners having to adjust the time line here. It needs a title that takes that into consideration… Emerging Pollinators Mow-Free Month?? 😉

  12. Anne says:

    With a view such as you show here, I cannot think why anyone would want to destroy it by mowing. This is a beautiful picture.

  13. John says:

    I have no lawn here in Las Vegas, but mowed lawns commercially for 20 years in Michigan so allowing a lawn to grow like this is odd to me! I use Desertscape…

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yes, no lawns in Vegas! But the old paradigm of the ‘great American lawn’ is in need of a makeover. Somehow, Scott’s lawn supplies, lawn mower companies and landscaping companies that focus on lawn care are probably not going to lead the charge. It will be up to the homeowner. ‘Less lawn, more planet’ is our battlecry! 🙂

      • John says:

        I agree, Eliza. The runoff loaded with chemical fertilisers is not good at all! It has polluted lakes and rivers for too long.

        The lawn I had in Michigan is what I always called a Wild Lawn. It was never watered except for the rains, nor was it ever sprayed with chemicals to kill Crab Grass and Dandelions.

        I just kept them mowed down once or twice a week. Living here, it’s nice to not be cutting grass anymore, but last year, my neighbor across the street had new sod installed in the backyard. He used an electric mower until it died!

        He now uses a gas powered mower! It’s such a huge waste of water at a time when our beaufiful Lake Mead is at a historic low level. Very sad.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Sad indeed. With water so critically low, it should be a crime to use it for anything but drinking. I won’t even point to how polluting twin stroke engines are and the particulates they spew!

      • John says:

        Two stroke engines are so dirty, the four cycle outboards are far superiour to the 2 strokers. We have many golf courses here because of the climate I suppose, but imagine how much water is being wasted on fairways and greens! It’s ludicrous… The lake I grew up on in Michigan has always outlawed 2 stroke engines. With the advent of the four cycle ourboards, they have softened a bit and allow the four cycle engines to be used on smaller boats like those aluminum pontoon boats but not speed boats. Go figure…

  14. Tina says:

    I’ve been a member for years: I rid my property of turf many years ago. Now, it’s gardens and pathways–and I’ve never regretted my choice! Love the photo, Eliza!

  15. Su says:

    I’m gradually converting my 2/3 acre to “no lawn”, one big bed at a time. I’m glad my neighbor is doing the same.

  16. Kris P says:

    Your photo provides beautiful support for your message, Eliza. Pacific Horticulture is mounting a similar campaign with its #lifenotlawn message. While my lawn in long gone, something I’ve never once regretted, there are still way too many manicured and overwatered lawns here. It’s going to be interesting to see if our ever-stricter water restrictions finally make a difference in that regard.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks, Kris. I hope more folks realize that we need to change our MO, esp. where you are with water being so critical. It seems sacrilegious to water a lawn in a desert!

  17. Dee Min says:

    I encourage you in this beautiful gift back to nature Eliza. I’d love to chillax in one of those chairs

  18. Debbie says:

    I’ve been hearing about this, Eliza, and find it fascinating. I believe yours is MUCH prettier than ours would be though. Something tells me I’d lose poor little Monkey in a month’s time if we let the yard go natural!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thanks, Debbie. Since he is probably mostly interested in the perimeter, maybe just mow a run for him? Years ago, I started mowing paths around our outer yard and let a portion front and back be a natural lawn that I cut at the end of the May through the summer. The bump-up in wildlife was noticeable and delightful to see.

  19. Tranature - quiet moments in nature says:

    Your wildflower lawn looks beautiful Eliza and it is lovely to see many people embracing this idea now 🌺🐝

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Xenia. Yes, it is really catching on here with at least 2 major national news outlets reporting on it… may it be embraced coast to coast!

  20. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    We have the no-mow-may movement here too. Great to see it’s there as well

  21. picpholio says:

    That’s the spirit… give nature the chance.

  22. The bees are definitely out.

  23. Never any pesticides or herbicides on our lawns. Instead, moss, violets, dandelions, and grass. Unfortunately, my snake phobia necessitates a mowed yard. 😉

  24. For the most part our lawn is left unmown but the areas around our doors are overgrown at the moment and possible tick turf so those will be cut but are mostly grass. Lots of violets, bluets, and dandelions elsewhere which will remain through the month. Not mowing for a while is not a complaint for me. 😉

  25. Val Boyko says:

    Love this! Love clover! Love dandelions! Love our bees 🙏🐝🙏

  26. I have seen articles on this. Hopefully, there are a lot of “unmowed” lawns this month!

  27. I have various spots including raised beds and awkward parts of my little lawns which I left wild last year and doing the same this year. Long grass waving in the breeze with seed heads is pretty. I also have lots of wild flower seeds to sow and some from last year should come up.

  28. What a great idea. A win, win for all concerned 😊

  29. naturebackin says:

    Lovely to know this movement is gaining traction. Your photo is an excellent advert for no-mow!

  30. bittster says:

    I hope it catches on. For years I’ve been the tick-breeding, weed-spreading, husband who lets half the lawn go unkempt each spring. I love it.

  31. Jet Eliot says:

    I enjoyed your environmental suggestion and have appreciated the success of the No Mow May program in other states. Your photo caps it.

  32. Nice Eliza! I live in a Condo so I can not do this, but it looks very interesting!!

  33. maryjane678 says:

    Hi Eliza.
    An excellent idea! Back at Le Shack we have a no-mow summer! But that’s easy as we’re not there! Even when we were there last summer due to Covid we only strimmer a tiny area around the house and leave the rest of the field wild. The wildflowers and amazing range of grasses are far more interesting than a lawn, and the insects and birds love it. Everybody wins. MJ

  34. Cyndi says:

    I love it. Let the wildflowers and bees be happy.

  35. Pepper says:

    I am all for that! Less work and pretty flowers. That’s a winner.

  36. Love the photo and the last few years I’ve seen no-mow May mentioned more often.🙂

  37. Nice! We’re in a mega-drought out in California so lawn’s are slowly giving way to other options. We replaced ours with native and drought tolerant plants seven years ago and never looked back. Your photo is lovely.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Alys. Yes, lawns are a crazy waste of precious water in your climate. We’re blessed with ample rainfall and never have to irrigate ours, fortunately. I hope more people come round to your lovely way of gardening… who needs a lawn?

      • That’s the thing: if you have rainfall to sustain it, you’re golden. California is semi-arid on a good day. We simply can’t support a lush green lawn without using precious resources. I’ve also enjoyed learning about monocultures and why they’re not good for the environment. We love the birds and the bees that arrive to polinate and enjoy the relatively pest free native plants as well. It’s been a learning process. I used to long for the traditional cottage garden. I’ve come around to a very different awareness and understanding of a healthy garden.

  38. Maria says:

    This is an enticing scene for so many reasons!

  39. Great idea! And your lawn is beautiful and quite inviting, Eliza!!

  40. Would love to participate in No-Mow May but the condo association here is not interested in sustainability. Your lawn looks naturally beautiful!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Barbara. There will come a day when everyone is going to be forced to embrace sustainability. Hopefully, folks will rise to meet it.

  41. Not much grass to mow here but lots of pollinator food in the garden beds! Lovely photo, Eliza.

  42. susurrus says:

    What a wonderful advert for No Mow May.

  43. I heard something about the governor here in Colorado, Jared Polis paying people to NOT water their lawns … a rebate of some sort I guess. Where I live very few people have lawns. Our property is just whatever grows.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      California for years has offered rebates for lawn removal in favor of xerophytic landscaping. Most SW states should offer the same. Easier to maintain, too. When you live in the Southwestern desert areas, lawns are plumb crazy!

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