Research Institute for Organic Agriculture, Frick

Does soil tillage cutting regime improve the quality of wildflower strips?

We have investigated effects of single soil tillage or cutting regime on the quality of wildflower strips including a control treatment without any regime. The treatments were performed at three different dates at the 2nd (autumn) and 3rd (spring and autumn) year. A randomized plot-trial was set up during 1996-2001 with four replicates, where the plant communities were monitored in spring and autumn of each year. The treatments did not significantly affect the mean number of plant species. But they have altered plant cover in short-term and much more the plant communities compared to the untreated control plot. Some meadow plant species were enhanced by the cutting treatment, and other species by the soil tillage. Autumn treatments were found to be more favourable for a species rich plant community compared to the spring treatments as well as an early management (2nd year) in comparison with a late treatment in the end of the 3rd year.

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