No Mow May
Shorewood Grows our Pollinator Habitats
We in Shorewood are proud to join with the many other communities in metro Milwaukee, across Wisconsin, and around the world who are participating in No Mow May.
WHY NO MOW MAY?
It is crucial that we support pollinators. They are essential to every ecosystem, urban as well as rural. They facilitate the reproduction of over 75% of all flowering plants and two-thirds of all agricultural crops. And pollinators of all types are in danger. For example, bees have declined by 25% or more in most areas of the U.S.; monarch butterflies have declined by 75%. Our gardens, parks, and food supply are at risk.
This Shorewood No Mow May yard sign can be purchased at Confluence Graphics (265 E. Hampton Rd.) beginning April 17.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. Postpone lawn-cutting until June 1. When pollinators emerge from their winter nests, they are hungry, and not much food is available. Early flowers like dandelions, clover, and violets help fill the gap until more plants flower. Research studies show that waiting until June to mow can greatly increase the number of bees and other pollinators, and the diversity of species present.
2. Postpone spring clean-up until temperatures have reached 50 degrees for at least five days consecutively. This will protect overwinter nesting sites such as dead wood, last year’s plants, and stems and leaf piles.
3. Avoid using pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Pesticides kill helpful creatures as well as harmful ones. Herbicides often kill the flowering plants the pollinators need to forage. Fungicides can make bees more susceptible to diseases and interfere with development and reproduction.
4. Get the word out. Talk to your friends and neighbors about the critical state of pollinators and what we all can do to help them early in the season by protecting their habitat.
5. Take the next step in promoting pollinator survival by incorporating native plants into your garden and turning your turf grass into a bee lawn.
BRING THE FAMILY AND VISIT POLLINATOR PALOOZA II ON MAY 20 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT POLLINATORS AND NATIVE HABITATS!
Q. Will I get a citation from the Village if I don’t cut my grass in May?
A. No. The Village has postponed enforcement of the lawn cutting ordinance until June, in order to encourage homeowners to participate in the No Mow May program.
Q. Will I get a citation from the Village if I do cut my grass in May?
A. No. No Mow May is a voluntary program.
Q. Does Shorewood prohibit use of pesticides and fertilizers?
A. No. But the Conservation Committee encourages homeowners to use them carefully and sparingly or, better yet, not at all. Pesticides are one of the top three contributors to the loss of pollinators across North America.
Q. Where can I get a No Mow May yard sign so my neighbors won’t think I’m being lazy or my lawnmower is broken?
A. The Shorewood No Mow May sign can be purchased at Confluence Graphics (265 E. Hampton Rd.). Many other styles of No Mow May signs are available online or from the links below.
Q. Does extra-tall grass encourage more ticks, mosquitos, mice or other rodents?
A. No. Many communities in Wisconsin have encouraged No Mow May since 2021 without a noticeable increase in any of these pests. Just more flowers and more pollinators.
Q. What’s the best way to cut extra-tall grass when No Mow May is over?
A. Adjust the mower to the highest setting and make the first pass to reduce the grass height. Before making a second pass, change the mower setting by lowering the height of the blade. Do not cut more than one-third of the height of the grass at a time in a single mowing. This helps prevent root stress and promotes turf vigor.
Reminder: Please do not mow or blow grass clippings into the street. It is better to mulch your grass or use it to make compost. Grass and leaves in the street can travel with rainwater into the sewers, and the added nutrients can cause algae blooms and other detrimental effects.
Q. What can I do beyond the month of May to help my lawn and our pollinators?
A. If you typically mow your lawn every week (or more frequently), consider mowing
every other week. Research has shown this to increase the number and species of pollinators. And consider or reducing or eliminating turf grass from your lawn or parts of your lawn and replacing it with native plants.
RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POLLINATORS, HEALTHY LAWNS, AND NO MOW MAY:
BlueThumb.org: Pollinator-Friendly (Bee) Lawn
Lawn mowing frequency affects bee abundance and diversity in suburban yards
More Sustainable (and Beautiful) Alternatives to a Grass Lawn
University of Minnesota Bee Lab