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Consider Participating in No Mow May

When you think of a beautiful lawn, images of weed-free, bright green grass likely spring to mind.

But some naturalists are asking people to reconsider that vision in favour of a more natural look. In fact, they are encouraging people to park the mowers, edgers and trimmers for a while and instead, let their yard get a little unruly.

Why you ask? The reason being it gives food sources a chance to bloom and provide for insects and other wildlife species. While dandelions may look like they are useless, they’re providing a service building a base that helps support all the different animals above them.

In addition, insects such as bees, butterflies and ants are busy pollinating this month, and these little guys play a key role in the growth of Saskatchewan plants and crops. Saskatchewan, like the rest of the world, has been impacted by global temperatures and precipitation patterns which in turn has an impact on insects and pollinator populations.

The message to help out the pollinators comes at an important time, beekeepers and honey producers in Alberta have reported some of the worst winter mortality rates they’ve seen. Mowing your lawn not only prevents some native plants from growing, but can also disturb ground-nesting bees who have yet to emerge from their winter slumber. In fact, if you do find a bee overwintering in the ground, you’ll probably notice they’re not moving–they’re in a dormant state, meaning you’ve just found a bee that is not ready to come out and start pollinating, so simply put it back where you found it and eventually they will wake up.

If you do feel compelled to mow your lawn before the month is over, try changing the height of your lawn mower so the grass can stay longer, since a lot of biodiversity is coming to life in the grass. As an added bonus, if you let your lawn grow an extra few inches in the spring, it helps to keep grass healthier later on!

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