why adopt reasoned mowing?

Preserving the environment involves reducing the frequency of lawn mowing. In fact, avoiding mowing the grass too often promotes biodiversity. Adopting reasoned (or differentiated) mowing means favoring a simple, healthy and natural method. In addition to saving you time, nature is reborn. Find out why quitting the lawn has so many benefits.

Why mowing less protects biodiversity?

Have you ever seen the “reasoned mowing, biodiversity preserved” signs popping up along public roads? This is a sign that municipalities practice reasoned mowing. However, the individuals and businesses are also players in supporting biodiversity and can easily do away with hard cuts. The main argument in favor of a well mowed lawn is indeed rather aesthetic. However, mowing less frequently not only frees up time for another activity, but also takes concrete action in favor of biodiversity. In order to find nature at your doorstep, the solution is to stop mowing the lawn close and vary the species.

Everything starts from the observation that too frequent mowing of the grass and drastic cleaning of the garden is extremely harmful to the life of insects and animals. Indeed, the short grass and the absence of flowers impoverish the soil of the lawn which is transformed into ecological desert. Species of insects and birds then become rarer.

wild garden with flowers mowed lawn and watering can
Credits: L Feddes/iStock

Mowing the lawn too often or too short does not logically allow the plants to grow enough to flower. Therefore, this limits pollination and so threatens the variety of plants. Thanks to a few centimeters of additional growth, the plants that cover the ground become self-sufficient in managing their water needs. Indeed, the dew or rainwater retained at their base constitutes a supply, except in the event of drought. The less frequently the grass is cut, the more the ground is humid and shelters the life of small animals.

Landscaper Eric Lenoir, author of the book Small treatise on the punk gardenalerts us and invites us to stop “screwing up square meters of food, hydrological resources, and ecological niches for fauna and flora in the midst of ecocide and in the midst of a climate crisis”.

bee gathering pollen from a pink flower in a field
Credit: sarahdoow/iStock

Benefit from the advantages of reasoned mowing: “1/3” or differentiated mowing

Differentiated mowing consists of change the frequency and alternating cut. On the one hand, this has the advantage of free up free time, because you reduce the duration of pushing your machine. On the other hand, this practice promotes the maintaining a good degree of humidity in the air.
Indeed, the humidity contained in a small height of grass makes it possible to maintain the ambient freshness. It is a simple and natural trick to maintain a pleasant temperature around the house or near your terrace.

In practice, visually grid your plot and only cut a third of the surface. If you have children or need more space, you can mow up to 2/3 of the land. For example, choose to cut only the flat part or the part closest to the house that will be most conducive to outdoor activities.

orange and black striped monarch butterfly perched on yellow flower
Credit: Ronda Brady/iStock

Cultivate the nature of your garden in two steps

  1. The first step in changing habits is through acceptance of wild plants that grow spontaneously in your garden and that we sometimes put in the “weed” box. This derogatory term is misleading, because all plants in nature have a function to play: nettle purifies the soil by removing excess nitrogen, while tansy and eagle fern keep garden pests away, etc. And if you don’t like a plant, you can always weed with natural techniques.
  2. The second step is to think of your garden as a global ecosystem. This means that the garden is a set of living beings interacting with their environment. Its balance depends above all on your management of space. You will thus contribute to the smooth running of the life cycle of insects, birds and small fauna.
    • Letting the grass grow promotes the life of birds, butterflies and ladybugs.
    • Leaving piles of leaves provides shelter for hedgehogs (a protected species since 1981).
    • Bushes hide wild animals.
    • If you have a lot of land, you can opt for a few sheep.
hedgehog in garden with flowers
Credits: Coatesy/iStock

Protect and promote natural habitats

According to the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO), “ the lawn and the flowers provide shelter and cover for a good number of animals (insects, birds, lizards, toads, etc.) and prove to be very useful for the elimination of undesirables and certain diseases ».
A garden promoting biodiversity consists mainly of create facilities (bird huts, etc.), avoid wildlife traps and above all do not use pesticides. There are many natural alternatives to pesticides to ward off undesirables without resorting to toxic products that pollute the water table, and therefore drinking water.

Bird on handle of small white bucket hanging with flowers in background
Credit: Andi Edwards/iStock

The LPO states that “ there are many threats to wildlife: destruction of natural environments (country hedges, wetlands, etc.), mass use of pesticides, abuse of hunting, disappearance of natural cavities (such as old stone walls without joints, trees hollows, dead branches…), no access to old barns and stables… » Leave a few square meters of your garden fallow thus multiplies habitats for wildlife.