Monday, March 9, 2015

Gold Star for the Herb Bed

During a bed rotation in January, one of our newest members Paul, offered earth cress seedlings to the herb bed for planting (Paul also gave us some water spinach, but we may talk about that another time).

So with consistent care and attention (hallmarks of JSRCG Herb Bed gardeners*) - the cress flourishes and will soon be ready for salad making.

But that's not why we get the gold star!

Jon tells us that the earth cress attracts the white butterfly, and despite years and years of evolution, this insect still hasn't figured out that earth cress is not happy hatching territory. Apparently when the little worms break out from their eggs and start munching on their cress host, their growth cycle terminates and they turn into garden protein.

So, not only is the earth cress amazing for eating, it's a trap crop - and even better, the cress will eventually turn to seed, which can be propagated and shared across JSRCG beds.

And that, gentle gardeners, is why the Herb Bed (with considerable thanks to Paul), wins a gold star.

*  *  *  *  *  *

* ahem, in the interests of full disclosure, the Herb Bed kicked off its earth cress cultivation with 6 plants - sadly 2 withered due to lack of water. Curiously, the moisture levels between the centre and sides of the bed is so marked the plants that dried out were less than 10cm from the 4 that flourished.




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