Friday, 20 March 2015

Landcress ~The Caterpillar Killer!

That heading is a bit dramatic but did any Aussies watch Gardening Australia last week on Saturday 14/3/15. You can view the Fact Sheet here if you missed the episode. Jerry Coleby-Williams spoke about a plant that his Nan grew amongst her brassicas to deter the Cabbage White Butterfly and the Cabbage White Moth.




As Jerry's Nan was an organic gardener she experimented with growing Landcress (Barbarea vulgaris) instead of Watercress during a bad drought in England in 1975 as the Landcress plants required less water. She grew them amongst her cabbages and found that she had the best crop of cabbages that year. I read in an article on Jerry's website Jerry Coleby-Williams: Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate that recently the University of Queensland had confirmed that his Nan was right and that Landcress does indeed deter the butterflys and moths that like to chew their way through our brassicas that we plant at this time of year.


I wish I had known about Landcress this time last year :-(

 The University of Queensland's research has proven that the pesky moths and butterflies are attracted by the Landcress instead of the brassicas and they lay their eggs there. Once the caterpillars start to munch away on it they drop dead and apparently others come along and repeat the same mistake.

In his article Jerry mentions that the Barbarea vulgaris seeds are available from Eden Seeds and they are called Cress American Upland on their site.




I ordered some online after watching Gardening Australia and they were $3.20 for 300 seeds. Now I need to plant them quickly and hope they save my brassicas that I have already planted from being munched on by the butterflies and moths which are a real problem at this time of the year.


 

 
It hasn't been gardening weather these last two days as we have been having a heatwave but it is cooling down now and getting back to normal autumn weather once again. Autumn heat records have been broken these last few days even in Mt.Isa which recorded over 41C.

 

 However, this little boy just laughs it off. He is Mt.Isa born and bred....for the last 13 weeks anyway!



He is at the laughing stage apparently and is a real hit with his big sisters. I will get to see him in 6 weeks time which will be lovely as he is growing so very quickly.  For now I will have to be satisfied with mobile phone photos.


I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend and that it cools down for those who have been coping with a heatwave these last few days and that those in the Northern Hemisphere are starting to thaw out and see some colour in their gardens. White is so yesterday! :-)









14 comments:

  1. I hope Eden seeds have a good supply. I fear they are about to do very good business. Beautiful Grandson, beautiful flower. Have a good weekend.

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    Replies
    1. Lynda, I am sure Eden seeds will do very well. They do have great seeds.

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  2. Landcress - that is a fabulous tip!
    That happy smile is totally priceless too - I love the first 10 months when it comes to babies

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    Replies
    1. Phil, I hope the Landcress works. It is worth a try anyway.

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  3. I saw Jerry talking about land cress but missed the Eden seeds notice. Will be in the site later. I have just received an order form Eden seeds so know they will provide the seeds quickly. Here's hoping to more of the Brassicas ending up in the table rather than the compost heap like last year.
    You little Grandbub is such a little cutie!
    Still waiting for the cool weather to arrive. 33 and 65% humidity at 9am this morning. YUK!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jerry didn't mention Eden Seeds on TV as I guess he couldn't anyway being the ABC. Just as well I read the article on his website. It has cooled down here and we had pea soup fog thus morning. Hope it reaches you soon.

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  4. it's been raining here since late arvo, wonderfully cool rain & still raining & thunder & lightning too for the last couple of hours.
    good tip to know, will look into getting some seeds too. your flowers are beautiful & so is the grandbub
    thanx for sharing

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  5. We lost power for a couple of hours in the storms last night, Selina. It is foggy again this morning. The rain should have been good for the Landcress seeds.

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  6. I love the look your grandson is giving his sis! Like he just told her a joke or something ;) What a cutie pie!

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  7. She just loves him to bits, Mary. I can't wait to see them all again.

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  8. Aww grandson is adorable! I will have to look for land cress, or maybe I will have better luck with Cress American upland, either way it is worth a try, I'm hoping not to have to run around the garden all day with a swatter to have my broccoli!! (I would probably frighten the neighbors!)

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  9. Happy little chappy. He'll be a heartbreaker.

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  10. That is great info re the Landcress, Chel. I missed that episode of Gardening Australia. Your grandson looks so sweet.

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  11. Sherri, you might be able to watch the episode online if it is still available.

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