I’ve decided to leave parts of my lawn uncut this year to create a little refuge for pollinators—and because I’m terrible with the grass trimmer 😂 In a few short weeks, I’ve been rewarded with a wildflower garden around the perimeter of my backyard. Three yellow blooms on one pretty weed (Sulphur cinquefoil) was a popular stop for several pollinators including some very cute hoverflies. I also avoid cutting clover, which the honeybees appreciate 😊
When I bought my house three years ago, it had a “perfect” lawn. It was a sea of green without a single weed on it. I suspect the previous homeowners had it treated to keep it in this condition. Since buying my house, I’ve neglected my lawn. I don’t water or fertilize it, and I don’t spray pesticides or herbicides. All I do is mow it every two weeks with my electric lawnmower.
With pollinators and other insects dying off at alarming rates, what we do—or don’t do—at home can make a big difference. If you’re not ready (or able) to let your entire lawn turn into a meadow, here are a few things you can do make it more eco-friendly:
– Cut your grass less often. According to one study, mowing the lawn every two weeks (instead of every week or even every three weeks) increased bee populations by 30%!
– Increase the height of your lawnmower blades. I cut mine to 2″ tall at the beginning and end of the season and to 4″ throughout the summer. This keeps the grass healthy yet allows clover and other flowering lawn plants to actually flower.
– Don’t pick up your grass clippings. Leaving them on your lawn allows them to provide nutrients to the soil as they decompose. Free fertilizer! 🙌
– Allow designated areas of your yard to go wild. This creates an attractive habitat for pollinators, not to mention a fun place for kids to find and study insects up close.
– And if you’re willing to put in a little effort, start a vegetable garden, plant a pollinator garden, create a rain garden or add native plants and grasses to your patch of green 🌱 These projects not only create inviting habitat for wildlife, they also provide ideal conditions for the microbes that make up healthy soil so it can store carbon and slow climate change.
Less is more when it comes to lawns 👍💚🌎