Home No Mow May is misguided in Virginia; expert says to mow less in April instead
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No Mow May is misguided in Virginia; expert says to mow less in April instead

Crystal Graham
dandelions on lush lawn
(© Pellinni – stock.adobe.com)

No Mow May is becoming a trend as millions of people choose to preserve the blooming dandelions and clover to support pollinators.

In Virginia, however, experts say that homeowners should rethink the practice and consider mowing less in April instead.

“The idea is that you are leaving the early flowering dandelion and clover to provide some forage for the earliest pollinating insects,” said Mike Goatley, an Extension turf specialist and associate professor of crop and soil environmental sciences in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “No Mow May has become widespread in the last few years, but May is really too late in Virginia. The clover and dandelion begin flowering in April, and that’s when you’re really getting the value in not mowing.”

Mowing less frequently in April not only ensures pollinators have an ample supply of clover and dandelion, it also encourages the plants to produce more blooms, according to Shawn Askew, an Extension specialist in turfgrass weed science and associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


  • Reduce mowing instead of not mowing.
  • Raise the mower height to increase bloom density.
  • Only mow part of the yard each time you mow so that food is always available somewhere on the property.
  • Leaving grass long also provides necessary habitat for insects.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.