If you’re familiar with the viral #NoMowMay movement, you’ve likely encountered the idea of letting lawns grow wild during the month of May to support pollinators. While the concept has gained popularity, many experts argue that a more thoughtful approach is required.
Dennis Evans, a landscaping specialist, shares his insights on the matter, emphasizing the importance of incorporating native plants that thrive in St. Louis. By selecting the right plants for your region, you can create a sustainable habitat that nourishes and protects pollinators throughout the entire year; not just for one month.
Dennis points out several limitations of the #NoMowMay approach. Allowing grass to grow tall for a month and then abruptly mowing it can harm the very pollinators homeowners aim to protect. It can also lead to issues like fungal diseases or the potential use of pesticides to combat invasive plants. Furthermore, the sudden change in grass height can confuse insects and expose them to predators.
Instead of relying solely on the #NoMowMay trend, Dennis recommends a comprehensive and strategic approach to landscaping. One effective option is to incorporate native plants that are well-suited to the St. Louis climate and soil conditions. These plants have evolved alongside local pollinators and offer the ideal food sources and habitats for them. When selecting native plants, consider species such as purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), and bee balm (Monarda didyma). These plants provide nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, while also adding color and beauty to your landscape. You can find other native plants we recommend to landscaping clients here and here!
To further support pollinators, create a diverse habitat by incorporating a mix of plants with different blooming periods. This ensures a continuous source of food throughout the strong change in seasons we see in St. Louis. Additionally, providing shelter and water sources, such as bird baths or small ponds, can enhance the overall habitat and attract a variety of beautiful birds, butterflies, bee, moths & more!
By embracing these landscaping practices and selecting native plants, you can create an inviting environment that benefits pollinators and enhances the beauty of your outdoor space. Additionally, a regular mowing routine at an appropriate height (not too short!) can help promote a healthy lawn while ensuring the well-being of both pollinators and your turf grass.
Join Quiet Village Landscaping in rethinking our approach to supporting pollinators and strive for a long-term solution that goes beyond a single month. By incorporating native plants into your landscape and embracing sustainable practices, you can create a vibrant and eco-friendly habitat that thrives year-round.