Montana has had some amazing weather lately. It has felt almost like summer already. Over Mother’s Day weekend I don’t think there was one house in our neighborhood that wasn’t doing some sort of yard work. The sound of mowers, trimmers, edgers, and even chainsaws were echoing through the air all weekend long.  

Montanans Should Rethink Their Lawns

This is the time of year when Montana sees the pollinators in and around our yards. They need the flowers to do their jobs. Humans need them to do their jobs as well. Without pollinators humans wouldn't be able to survive. There are statistics that one in three bites of food is made possible by pollinators. 50% of our agriculture and 85% of plants on Earth require an insect pollinator.  

Pollinators and Lawns Can Work Together

I spoke with Marirose Kuhlman, a Habitat Coordinator for the Missoula County Department of Ecology & Extension, about what people can do in Montana to help the pollinators in their lawns. The University of Minnesota Extension has developed a seed mixture that can help make your lawn more "pollinator friendly". Marirose said:

It's durable, so you could walk on it. You still have to mow it and water it. But then there's diversity in it. There's these low growing, low blooming plants. There's Dutch White Clover. There's Self Heal which blooms purple, Creeping Thyme which is purple.. All those plants require fewer resources, and they also provide a pollinator resource, so those flowers have nectar and pollen that pollinators can use.

Marirose didn't want to give the impression that these lawns would make an optimal pollinator habitat, but they would be much better for the pollinators than a regular Kentucky Bluegrass lawn. It would be a great start to helping the pollinators. The pollinator friendly lawn seed is available in Missoula, at Caras Nursery and Landscape.

Lawn care and maintenance takes a lot of resources from water, to fuel for mowing, fertilizer, and time. Transitioning to a pollinator friendly lawn has a lot of benefits, not just for the pollinators. It can cut down on the amount of mowing, and the amount of water needed to maintain the lawn. Maybe it's time more Montanans look at pollinator friendly lawns. They may help all of us in the long run.

Reach Out and Get Information About Our Pollinators

If you want to learn more about how you can transition your lawn or see how you can help the pollinators in Western Montana, you can check out the Missoula Department of Ecology & Extension website or email Marirose at She would be happy to give you more information on the topic.

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