Hello from Lancaster

Introduce Yourself

I'm currently involved in food gardening in three locations: my own small back garden, an allotment plot shared with a friend, and a small community garden at the end of my street. I studied ecology, including soil science at university (1977 - 81) and I'm looking forward to sharing information, and taking part in projects when there's something applicable to my location. In my own garden I'm focusing on creating a polyculture with Kale to encourage predatory insects to keep the cabbage white butterflies(small and large) in check, after noticing that in some years there is a lot of caterpillar damage, and in other seasons a lot of wasp activity seems to correlate with less damage. This season's Kale bed is a mixture of Cavolo Nero, Flat leaf parsley, Rocket, Landcress, plus tall Cosmos bipinnatus, Calendula and Echium vulgare. There are Landcress and parsley plants at different stages of growth (mature plants from previous season in flower alongside this year's seedlings). Previous efforts have included French beans in between Cavolo Nero,(beans difficult to pick) and climbing french beans growing up Redbor Kale, (little caterpillar damage, but the Kale big enough to support the beans was unpleasantly tough to eat!) I've also been planting to encourage bees and other pollinators for more than 15 years.

1 comment

The Kale polyculture as a preventative measure sounds interesting. I am in Manchester and have left a number of kale and cabbage uncovered this year in a raised bed (I usually cover with a dense insect mesh) and have noticed surprisingly fewer cabbage white butterflies / caterpillars. I don't know anything about the optimum conditions for cabbage whites but wonder if this is due to the hot weather?