“In May, stop mowing”: here are all the benefits of leaving your lawn in peace

“In May, stop mowing”: here are all the benefits of leaving your lawn in peace
“In May, stop mowing”: here are all the benefits of leaving your lawn in peace

Based on the principle that to succeed in raising awareness of the richness and interest of biodiversity it is necessary to know it, “In May, mowing stopped” is an educational way to rediscover the world of the tiny to better preserve it.

Promote fauna and flora

No risk of ending up with wet legs, only part of your garden is necessary to participate in this action. “Even a square meter can make a differenceassures Julie Maertens, trained agronomist and technical advisor at Adalia 2.0. If everyone forgot a small part of their garden that is not used, it would make it possible to create an ecological network and a corridor between different large natural environments to allow the circulation of species. This is very important, especially in urbanized areas,” she explains.

With the arrival of spring, May is the time of year when nectar-laden grasses and wildflowers multiply, providing an essential refuge and pantry for insects. Not mowing your lawn helps preserve local biodiversity and more particularly foraging insects such as bees, bumblebees and other butterflies. Essential for pollination, these contribute to the reproduction of around 90% of species of wild plants and fruit trees in the world. “Without pollination, we risk having very limited food resources”, explains the technical advisor.

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An essential plant shield

Avoiding mowing will also promote life under the ground, advance Julie Maertens, the micro-organisms found there do all the work of decomposing organic matter which has an essential impact on our environment. The less we mow, the more life in the basement will be important and will encourage plant growth.

Tall grasses are a very effective shield to fight against different weather conditions. With a larger root system, they have the ability to fetch water deeper, thus helping to combat drought. They can also – to a certain extent – ​​contribute to better water infiltration during heavy rains. “Tall grass also filters rainwater laden with substances, particularly chemicals, and fights soil erosion. explains the scientist.

Rediscover your garden

Resident of Court Saint-Étienne and facilitator of the Louvain-la-Neuve Knowledge Exchange Network, Michel Geerts made his meadow “a small sanctuary”. In 2016, this citizen made the decision to let nature flourish on his land and since then, he has never ceased to marvel at this setting.

It is a delight for the eyes. We saw much more wildlife. There are more toads, frogs, some shrew nests and more and more butterflies are appearing. It is also interesting to observe the evolution in the diversity of so-called invasive flowers such as dandelions, ash trees and buttercups. I have flowers today that I didn’t have in previous years.

Without regretting having embarked on a practice which requires no maintenance, Michel Geerts only mows his land once a year.

Very active on issues of access to land, sustainable food and cooperative practices, he would like these areas of great biodiversity to multiply in the villages so that an ecological network is organized from valley to valley.

As for the Brussels capital, according to the NGO Natagora, nearly 60% of the city’s vegetation cover corresponds to green spaces such as private gardens and spaces associated with housing complexes, roads or campuses. . With its numerous houses and gardens in a row, if a small piece of all these green spaces were dedicated to biodiversity, the city of Brussels would have enough to constitute a large-scale ecological network at the heart of the urban fabric.

Discovering the secrets of bird songs in our gardens with a naturalist

Sustain the practice

For campaign partners, if “In May, mowing stopped” is a way of raising awareness among citizens about their relationship with nature, the objective is not for them to wait until June 1st to pass the grim reaper. “The idea is to give them the carrot so that gradually, this management method lasts at least until September and over an increasingly larger area.e,” explains Julie Maertens from Adalia 2.0.

In addition, there are other actions to take throughout the year to safeguard biodiversity in your garden.

Already, never pesticides insists Sylvain Boisson, bioengineer and Doctor in agronomy at Gembloux Agro-BioTech. Then, with the wood that has been cut from hedges or pruned from trees, we can make piles or build weirs – a sort of living fence – which, as it decomposes, will attract insects but also birds. All this will help to recreate small ecosystems and a new cycle. We can do the same thing with piles of dry stones.” advises the bioengineer who also underlines the need to perpetuate these techniques for as long as possible. “The ideal would be to keep part of your garden growing all year round, but the principle remains the same, creating refuge areas for different species..

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