In Your Opinion: Preparing For No-Mow May, 2023

By Stanislav Jaracz, Franklin Township Environmental Commission.

Earlier this year, the concept of No-Mow-May was brought to the Franklin Township Environmental Commission. What is it about? The No-Mow-May campaign is aimed at addressing the declining population of pollinators due to various human activities including loss of habitat and neonics.

Pollinator is a collective term for insects, such as bees, that are a critical component of our environment and agriculture, making sure flowers turn into fruits. When pollinators wake up from the Winter hibernation, they need good foraging resources to grow and reproduce. Our lawns – if they contain beneficial native flowers – are an ideal source of nectar, hence the idea of No-Mow-May was born in 2020 in Appleton, WI, some 200 miles North of Chicago.

The Franklin Township Environmental Commission was contemplating to run the No-Mow-May campaign in 2022 but there were concerns of complaints about no mowing and pollen allergy from neighbors. Fueled by curiosity, I decided to volunteer and test the idea at my lawn at the center of Somerset village. The goal was to skip the mowing routine for the entire month of May, then monitor the wild plants and pollinators. And anything else.

How did it go? The spoiler is that due to our state being warmer than Wisconsin, the flowering plants in NJ lawns flourish 1-2 months earlier so any no-mow program in NJ must be earlier in the season. However, if our lawns are chemically treated to eliminate flowering plants, there is no pollinator benefit at all.

While the commission is in the process of developing a formal no-mow program for the Spring of 2023, everyone can start now.

The very first step is to make sure that our lawn contains beneficial flowering plants, particularly dandelion and clover. To achieve that, no action is needed. Literally! From now on, do not apply any lawn chemicals such as weed killer, fertilizer and broad spectrum insecticide. This “lack” of action will turn monoculture lawn into a slowly diversifying ecosystem. No dandelion seeding is necessary, the fluffy parachutes will find their way into the lawn. Clover may need a little more time and if homeowners can find clover seeds, that would be even better. If they have an irrigation system, it is recommended to decrease the lawn watering as the native plants tend to do much better in low water conditions than grass. Homeowners can also learn more from Ms. von Gal, founder of the nonprofit Perfect Earth Project, popularizing toxic-free healthy lawns and landscapes through her website and on TikTok.

Stay tuned. The full original No-Mow-May report is available upon request.

Your Thoughts


Please Support Independent Journalism In Franklin Township!

No other media outlet covering Franklin Township brings you the depth of information presented by the Franklin Reporter & Advocate. Period. We are the only truly independent media serving the Eight Villages.

But we can only do that with your support. Please consider a yearly subscription to our online news site; at $37 a year, it’s one of the best investments you can make in our community.

To subscribe, please click here.

Other News From The Eight Villages …