A lawnmower threatens to cut down wildflowers

Simple Ways to Save Irish Bees #2

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Grow instead of mow!

Inside every manicured lawn is a wildflower meadow waiting to get out. While lawns may look tidy they are food-less deserts for pollinators.

If we want to save the bees, we can’t let them starve to death! Many Irish homes have massive pristine lawns that require a lot of upkeep to remain looking “tidy”. Where has this obsession for tidiness come from? No one needs a lawn that could substitute for a putting green!

In the second instalment of our guide to helping bees we ask you to mow less often. Research in the UK has shown that mowing your lawn every four weeks can increase the available nectar ten-fold. There are native wildflowers hiding in the grass, mowing less often allows them to flower more.

Some other tips:

  • Give your lawn a “Mohican” cut – leave strips of longer grass with wildflowers. Alternate these strips when you next cut your grass
  • Leave a fringe of longer grass around the edge of your lawn. Leaving areas to grow a little wild allows a wider range of wildflowers to bloom. This also benefits bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Mow a maze! Cut paths through longer grass. Kids love running through their very own meadow maze.
  • Set your blades high! Ideally, don’t cut your grass shorter than 3-5cm (1-2 inches).
  • If the thought of an untidy lawn make you uncomfortable, you can ease into it by not mowing just for the months of March and May. This will benefit pollinators when food is scarce in Spring. And, May is the month that grass and wildflower growth really takes off, providing a feast for bees.
A mohican lawn cut with strips of wildflowers
Give your lawn a Mohican!

The good news is that we can enjoy our lawns as much or even more by doing less. Even better, we can enrich biodiversity and bring life back. So, put your feet up and enjoy your mini-meadow in-between the cuts!

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