by Barbara Walvoord
In July 2014, this column carried the headline, “Oops, we Mowed our Meadow.” That’s because, following an old schedule, our east campus meadows were mowed in July. Mowing so early in the season decapitated the wildflowers before most of them had set seed for next year’s black-eyed susans and asters. Mowing destroyed the cover for our rabbits, mice, and voles, which in turn would be eaten by our bobcat and coyotes. Mowing took away the nectar and pollen that our birds and bees need for migration. It destroyed cocoons of overwintering insects.
Now, in collaboration with our facilities team and our landscaper, our meadows and fields are mowed in October, and 1/3 of their area is mowed each year, with 2/3 left standing. This is the practice that naturalists recommend–selective decapitation.
Why mow at all? Because in New England, every meadow want to become a woods. A look out your car window around here easily demonstrates what we read–that more and more of New England is Continue reading Decapitation at Lathrop