The species-rich flower meadow – how do i get it??

The sog. "Insecticide " Is currently on everyone’s lips. As a food source for birds, this species extinction has a direct impact on our bird populations and since insects perform a great pollination service, our own food source is also closely related to the buzzing and buzzing in our meadows. But how can you counteract this and turn a "grassy desert" into a "meadow"? make a species-rich and flowering habitat? Tips and suggestions can be found here:

The species-rich flower meadow - how do I get it??

The typical landscape form in Baden-Wurttemberg, and thus also in our orchard meadows, is the so-called "mountain meadow". "Lean lowland meadow", or. in higher altitudes the "Berg-Mahwiese" (mountain meadow). Centuries of extensive human use have led to the emergence of this species-rich habitat type. What characterizes such a meadow? On the one hand, mowing only 1 to 2 times per year (and only after the main flowering period of the grasses) and a low or low rate of mowing. Lack of fertilization. This is the only way to create a meadow rich in flowers, which represents a valuable habitat for numerous animal and plant species and also has a high landscape aesthetic value.

But why do we so often see "grass deserts"? on which only dandelions will bloom in the spring?

1.) Meadow flowers need light to grow. On many (orchard) meadows, the grass grows so much that the flowers are virtually overgrown. Without light and under root competition from the grass, they perish. In addition, the tree population in many orchard meadows is clearly too dense and the resulting shading leads to o.g. absence of the desired plant species such as smooth oats, meadow sage, buttercups, etc..

2.) Many meadows are over-fertilized and thus too nutrient-rich for the flowering plants, which need a lean soil. How do these very nutrient-rich soils come about? On the one hand, large amounts of nitrogen from house heaters, engines and industrial furnaces trickle onto the meadows every year with rain and dust. If the cuttings are not transported away, but remain in the meadow – as is the case z.B. The nutrients from the enriched mown material are reintroduced into the soil, as is the case with mulching. The soil becomes too rich in nutrients, grass can spread and the meadow flowers with their demands on lean soils fail to grow. The meadow becomes a grass desert without food supply for flower-visiting insects.

So what to do ?

In meadows that have been improperly managed for a long time, flowers do not readily return through proper use, mowing, and haying. For some time the seeds in the soil are still able to germinate. But after about five years, the "seed bank" is exhausted.

First of all, it is necessary to obtain seeds that are suitable for the location and soil conditions. Flower mixtures from the hardware store with colorful or exotic flowers are unsuitable. However, various seed producers have regional seed mixtures for wildflower meadows available, which are adapted to the respective natural habitats and therefore germinate and grow better. You can find a corresponding offer z.B. with seeds Zeller, Syringa plants and Rieger-Hoffmann.

In the following we would like to present you four methods, which enable you to obtain again a species-rich flower meadow. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the "Netzwerk Bluhende Landschaft – Regionalgruppe Tubingen", from whose very informative website we have taken the methods presented below.

Complete reseeding of the meadow:

This is the most time-consuming method. It requires the tilling of the meadow with a tiller or cultivator and the creation of a seedbed. There can be problems with the nature conservation authorities, if they do not allow the meadows to be turned over. Therefore, before such a measure, you should first contact the district office! Since most meadow flowers and grasses are light germinators, care should be taken when sowing that the seeds do not get under the soil. Afterwards you should roll the whole thing, so that the seeds have ground contact.

The transfer of the mown material

For this purpose, mown grass from neighboring species-rich meadows (if there are any) is applied to the prepared seedbed. More details are described here:

Overseeding into the stand

This variety needs open spaces and little competition from existing grasses. Sharp harrowing and scratching up the crop are often cited as prerequisites. But there is also evidence in the literature that seeding succeeds in depleted stands if seeded about 2 – 3 weeks before mowing. This is to prevent desiccation and thus favor germination. The mowing is then used to create light for the new plantlets.

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