Managing the ‘weeds’ that grow between the rows of crops is a continual problem for farmers, usually involving lots of herbicide. Afterall, weeds and grasses compete with crops for nutrients, light and space. Here at Frenchay Christmas Tree Farm, we have our own special system. Allowing the Christmas trees and the weeds to co-exist really increases the biodiversity on our land. We practise no-mow May right through to July!
We first tried this in the summer of 2022, as an experiment. Orchids and other wildflowers flourished, and so did the insects and birds. Although the baby Christmas Trees have to compete with the long grasses, we felt they managed okay. We will be repeating the no-mow months again this year!
Even though we do mow around the trees, no-mow strips are an important part of our field management. Here’s Simon to tell you a bit more about it…
The more people who get involved the better, however small your garden. Local Wildlife Trusts, such as Avon Wildlife Trust, and the RSPB are doing a lot of work to encourage people to let their lawns grow in May. If you’re interested in finding out more, and getting involved yourself here’s what Countryfile have to say about no-mow May.