Mow Less May

About Mow Less May
Mow Less May is a movement to support pollinators like bees and butterflies to help keep them safe as they emerge for the season.  

What the Buzz Is About
The concept began with Bee City USA, and encourages residents to mow less, or to leave portions of a lawn with longer grasses, and allow flowers to bloom during that time. 

The start of the growing season is a critical time for hungry, newly-emerged native bees. Floral resources may be hard to find, especially in urban and suburban landscapes. By allowing lawns (or parts of lawns) to grow longer and letting flowers bloom, your lawn can provide nectar and pollen to help bee neighbors thrive. 

Tall grass
Dandelion 1

Mow Every Two Weeks
Iowa State Extension encourages participating in Mow Less May by mowing every two weeks. By mowing every two weeks (rather than not mowing the entire month) you can:

  • Decrease the lawn damage that could happen when trying to get the lawn back into a normal summer cut.
  • Reduce damage to the lawn from weedy or invasive plants, cutting too much off at once, or from long grass clippings not getting caught or raked. 
  • See more Mow Less May tips from Iowa State Extension.

Tall Lawn Ordinance Enforcement

  • Coralville will suspend ordinance enforcement for unkept residential lawns one mower width’s back of the sidewalk during the month of May. 
  • Residential lawns participating in Mow Less May must be mowed no later than the first Sunday in June in order to avoid a violation notification.
  • This does not apply to commercial businesses. Mow Less May is for residential properties, and does not apply to commercial areas.

Things to Know (Before You Let It Grow):

  • You must mow the right-of-way between the curb and the sidewalk, and one mower's width on the other side of the sidewalk. This keeps the grass from impeding pedestrians.  
  • We recommend maintaining a mowed band around the entire perimeter of your property. This delineates the property line and is being a good neighbor.  
  • Talk to your neighboring property owners, and let them know you are participating in Mow Less May.   

Other Ways to Support Pollinators
There are many ways besides Mow Less May to support pollinators. You can:

  • Plant a flowering tree.  
  • Plant pollinating-supporting plants in flower gardens. 
  • Choose an area of the yard to go native permanently. Best practices include: 
    • Choosing a side or back portion of your lawn.   
    • Seed intentionally and weed intentionally. Native landscapes are not letting a lawn just grow long. It should be easy to inventory native plants on the property and to see that the native landscape is well-maintained. 
    • Mowed bands should be in place between the native lawn area and neighboring property owners. 
Plant a flowering tree