(Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

The No Mow May movement is catching on. It can save you time and money, and it can make your lawn a better place all-around.

Before we learn some tips and tricks, there’s some unlearning that needs to happen. That unlearning centers around lawn care as you probably know it. I’ll keep it simple and concise: most of what you’ve learned about lawn care is wrong.

Why is that? Because most of what you’ve learned about lawn care you’ve likely picked up from–you guessed it–lawn care brands and companies. They’re not in the business of keeping your lawn healthy. They’re in the business of selling you stuff.

No Mow May: A New Way of Thinking

Think about it. The typical American lawn, for generations now, is supposed to consist of a certain type of grass of a certain type of color and a certain length. No “weeds” allowed. And how does one achieve that standard? Chemicals, treatments, and other products.

It’s marketing, plain and simple. And you can say no to it. Because it’s actually worse for your lawn to treat it with chemicals. Especially when your lawn is what makes up your yard–the place where your children and pets are playing. Do want them rolling around in that stuff?

No Mow May: A Healthier Way to Care For Your Lawn

No Mow May is an initiative of Bee City USA, which works to make communities friendlier to pollinators. As they point out, lawns cover 40 million acres of land in the U.S. So instead of spending more time to make them worse, we can spend less to make them better.

Below you’ll find some helpful tips to make your lawn healthier for you, your family, and Mother Nature, all while saving you time and money. And they all dovetail nicely with these handy tips on how to keep it all healthy when the snow starts falling.

  • 1) Mow Less in May

    Look, I’m not doing to sit here and tell you not to mow your lawn for an entire month. I don’t know how fast your grass grows or what your yard situation is. I will tell you to mow less, though. It gives flowers a chance to bloom, which gives emerging bees a chance to thrive.

  • 2) Dandelions Are Good

    For years, we were lied to. We were told dandelions were weeds and needed to be eliminated. Oh, and by the way, Lawn Care Brand X has just the chemical do it! Funny how that works, right? Don’t buy it. Dandelions are good for you. Read this to find out why.

  • 3) Clover Is Better

    While you don’t want to eliminate dandelions completely, you don’t want to let them run wild. Their pollen isn’t the most nutritious for bees, and they tend to choke out other, better low-growers, like white clover and creeping thyme.

  • 4) Violets Are Best

    If you’re lucky, like I am, you might have a lawn where native violets are growing. Let them! Cutting down on your April and May grass cutting allows violets to thrive. They give your lawn a splash of color and are great for local butterfly populations.

  • 5) Let Your Grass Grow Longer

    The old way of uniformly-cropped, short grass is OUT. The new way of longer, wilder grass is IN. Why? Taller grass = deeper roots. Deeper roots means less water evaporates from the soil. Which means you need to water less. Which saves you money on your water bill.

  • 6) Trim The Edges

    I get it. That one neighbor can be a nudge. You let your lawn go a bit, and they’re making passive-aggressive comments about it or kvetching to your other neighbors. Shut them up by keeping the edges of your lawn tidy. Bonus: you still get to use some of your fun lawn tools, like your weed wacker.

  • 7) Go Lawn-Light

    Replace part of your mown lawn with a pollinator garden. Or, if you’re able, leave a low-traffic area of your lawn wild and don’t mow it at all. Less work for you, more crucial habitat for pollinators.

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