No Mow May: 7 wildlife-friendly gardening tasks you can do
The charity aims to encourage biodiversity in the estimated 20 million back gardens in the UK by boosting the food sources for vital pollinators like butterflies and bees.
The presence of more plant life is not only good for pollinators but is also an essential support for the UK’s natural food chains.
Lucy Taylor, manager of Vine House Farm, in Lincolnshire, lists seven gardening jobs that protect and support wildlife.
1 Let grass grow long. Try mowing every 4 weeks instead to allow short-growing flowers to bloom.
2 Leave weeds for a little longer. Dandelions, in particular, are like a superfood for butterflies and bees so try not to go for every weed you see throughout May.
3 Check shrubs for nests before trimming. Nesting and fledgling season continues throughout May so a cursory inspection before using your shears is important.
4 Sow wildflowers. They are low-maintenance, beautiful and helpful for pollinators. You can use them to either create a meadow in place of grass turf or plant them in borders to create space for pollinators. Creating space for wildflowers will ensure wildlife is still supported in some way.
5 Sow sunflowers. These plants provide pollen and nectar for bees but their seedheads are a great source of food for birds in later months.
Sowing them now means your garden will support wildlife throughout the year.
6 Opt for wild or ornamental grasses. These grass variations grow long and wild in beautiful displays.
Their sturdy nature is particularly attractive for butterflies to lay their eggs, meaning birds like blackbirds will have caterpillars to eat.
7 Leave sections of grass to grow long.
If you’re unable to leave your entire lawn to grow during May, leaving sections that Plantlife have dubbed “mowhicans” is the next best thing. Patches of long grass at the edges of your lawn mean you can have a presentable garden that still helps out the bees and butterflies.