Friday, 2 July 2010

natural protection against caterpillars


Now we have planted our overwintering early purple sprouting broccoli and brussels sprouts, it is time to use the bare earth beneath the little plants.
Research shows that there is less infestation from large white (cabbage white) butterfly caterpillars if the ground beneath the plant is under sown.

Trefoil is a native wild flower. It is a member of the legume (pea/bean) family and so enriches the soil with nutrients as it grows.
It is also the food plant of the small blue butterfly.

So, a marriage made in heaven!

Caterpillars of a pretty and non damaging butterfly benefit while the caterpillars of one of the worst of the garden pests are deterred.

The ground cover will also benefit other invertebrates and prove a happy hunting ground for hedgehogs and toads. If the trefoil flowers, late flying insects will have a snack stop too.

I broadcast seed beneath the plants and then watered in.

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