Should you mow your meadow or pollinator planting?

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Show notes:

Have you planted a meadow or pollinator planting on your property? Or, do you know someone or some place in your community that has one? If it’s on your property then part of the recommended management for it may have been to mow it periodically. Or if it’s not on your property then you may have driven by it only to see it being mowed or find that it had recently been mowed.

If you’re initial reaction was something along the lines of “Wh…What?!” “Wait!” “Stop!” “No” “Why?” or included feelings of confusion, sadness, anger, or frustration, then you aren’t alone. In this episode of the Backyard Ecology podcast, we talk about why people mow meadows and larger pollinator plantings. We also talk about whether it is really necessary. The answers to both of those questions are rooted in the grassland and prairie ecosystems that meadows and larger pollinator plantings are often trying to replicate.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

  • Benefits of meadows and pollinator plantings: 2:15
  • Factors that create and maintain prairie and grassland ecosystems: 3:34
  • Ecological reasons why someone would mow or recommend mowing a meadow or pollinator planting and alternatives to mowing: 7:46
  • Recommendations for where to get local advice on managing your meadow or pollinator planting: 12:17
  • Philosophical discussion of natural succession and letting nature take its course: 13:52

I hope you’ve found this episode helpful and that it has encouraged you to think about things. If you’re listening to this in January 2023, please don’t forget to take our survey.

Until next time, I encourage you to take some time to enjoy the nature in your yard and community.

Related episodes:

Backyard Ecology Links:

Episode image:

  • Native plants in a pollinator planting.
  • Photo credit: USFWS Midwest Region, public domain

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Backyard Ecology: Exploring Nature in Your Backyard
Nature isn’t just “out there.” It’s all around us, including right outside our doors. Hi, my name is Shannon Trimboli, and I am the host of Backyard Ecology. I live in southcentral Kentucky and am a wildlife biologist, educator, author, beekeeper, and owner of a nursery specializing in plants for pollinators and wildlife conservation. I invite you to join me as we ignite our curiosity and natural wonder, explore our yards and communities, and improve our local pollinator and wildlife habitat. Learn more or subscribe to my email list at

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