The Content Of The Article:
- Flower meadow or lawn?
- Careful soil preparation is important
- Sow flower meadows
- Maintain flower meadows properly
Flower meadow or lawn?
Have you ever considered getting a piece of colorful nature in the form of a flower meadow in the garden? Flower meadows are charming with the variety of flowering meadow herbs and serve as a habitat for many animals. Butterflies, bumblebees, hoverflies and wild bees feel just as at home here as do many species of birds that rearrange the insects to feed their brood.
In comparison with a lawn, the flower meadow performs much better in the eco-balance, because only a few, specialized insects can live in the green carpet. The only advantage of the lawn is purely practical nature: The step-resistant grass carpet is usable for your children as a playground, while a flower meadow should be entered as little as possible. In order to be able to admire the wildflowers up close, there is nothing wrong with using a lawn mower to create a narrow swath as a path.
As far as care is concerned, the flower meadow performs considerably better, as it can be left to one's own, except for one or two mowing sessions in late summer and autumn. A lawn, on the other hand, is known to cause a lot of care: Weekly mowing, repeated fertilization and timely watering in drought are required to keep it in shape.
However, the either-or is only a question that arises in small plots. If you have enough space, you can accommodate both a flower meadow and a lawn in your garden.
Careful soil preparation is important
Unfortunately, quite a few garden owners have failed in their attempt to reproduce a flower meadow, as it can be admired in the great outdoors. Especially the most varied meadow type, the Magerwiese, develops only on dry, nutrient-poor and predominantly sandy soils, which rarely occur in the home garden. A prerequisite for the creation of such flower meadows is a more or less elaborate tillage: they should erode the topsoil about 20 centimeters deep in loamy soil and replace it with building sand. In very humid locations, the installation of an underground drainage makes sense.
If you already have a sandy, rather dry soil in the garden, you do not have to spend so much effort. Here, it is especially important that the soil becomes as free of weeds as possible before you sow the flower meadow mixture. It has proven useful to mill it several times at intervals of two to three weeks for at least one season. The device always brings new weed seeds to the surface. They germinate within a short time and are submerged again, before they have reached the seed maturity. Over time, you can see that the growth is fatter. If only a few weeds re-emerge, they are milled one last time. Then you can start sowing the flower meadow.
Important: If root weeds such as greed or couch grass grow on the surface, you must first carefully clear them with their roots with a digger fork and thoroughly remove all root pieces before you milled the surface for the first time.
The "Mössinger Sommer" is one of the best-known flower meadow mixtures. However, some organic gardeners criticize the fact that they were put together according to optical criteria
If it does not have to be the most species-rich variety, you can simply have a soil analysis done and then sow a meadow mixture that fits the natural soil type. There are suppliers who offer different flower meadow mixtures for every type of soil. If the location is "fatter", then the mixture contains various grasses, for example, often meadow flowers such as marguerite, widow flower, meadow sage, meadow bellflower, buttercup, sainfoin and dove dropping moor.
Important to know: In addition to the arranged according to ecological criteria flower meadows from native species with similar location preferences, there are also so-called "show mixtures" such as the "Mössinger summer". Although it is very colorful and floriferous, but also contains foreign species and is not permanent.
Sow flower meadows
The best time for sowing a flower meadow is in spring or fall. After applying the sand layer or the last milling pass, plan the area for the new flower meadow with a rake and wait one to two days for the soil to settle. Since the flower meadow mixture should be seeded only in very low density (1 to 5 grams of seed per square meter), it is advisable to mix the seeds with sand or sawdust and spread breitwürfig.
The sowing of a flower meadow hardly differs from that of a lawn: The seed is first sowed wide-boiled (left), then slightly eingarkt and pressed with the turf roller (right)
Afterwards, they are carefully caressed completely flat and pressed with a lawn roller.After sowing in spring and during the summer months, you must water in dry conditions, so that the young seedlings do not dry out. In autumn sowing, watering is usually unnecessary, because the soil is wet enough anyway.
Keep a close eye on the area until seeds emerge: if any weeds or grasses are still spreading, remove them immediately. As soon as the first wildflowers germinate you should not enter the area if possible.
If you plant flower bulbs in autumn, your flower meadow will bloom in spring
By the way: you can also enrich the flower meadow with bulbous flowers. For this purpose, just before sowing in the fall, for example, put crocus bulbs or other bulbous flowers in the ground in several places, which are suitable for freezing on open areas. If you have planted the flower meadow already in the spring, you can make up for it any time in the fall after the mowing.
Maintain flower meadows properly
From the second season, the newly created flower meadow is no longer watered. You should generally avoid using fertilizer on flowering meadows, as they encourage unwanted grasses and other highly competitive plant species that would gradually reduce the tender wildflowers over time. The only really important care measure is the annual mowing from late July to mid-August. In early autumn, you can mow the meadow again if necessary.
Flower meadows must be mowed at least once in late summer - preferably with a scythe
Depending on the size of the area, the cut of the meadow flowers is done with a scythe, a brushcutter or a meadow mower. If necessary, this is also a highly adjusted, well-powered sickle mower. He should, however, have a side or rear ejection and no catcher. Reason: When mowing the ripe seeds of wildflowers are distributed on the surface and provide next year for the necessary offspring, as many meadow flowers are only one year old. If the clippings are transported directly into the catcher, many seeds are lost. First, allow the crop to dry on the surface for a few days, then mix and compost it. It must be removed from the surface in any case, so that the soil further degrades with time.