Planting Tansy for Tansy Beetles

I got permission to plant out 600 of my home grown tansy plants along the river bank at Acomb Landing in York. The stretch was once a good area for tansy beetles, with plenty of tansy, but the floodbank had been rebuilt and most of the tansy was lost. Just one good clump remained, and last week I counted 32 tansy beetles on it.

Himalayan balsam and willowherb

The floodbank had the best vegetation on it and the area within was covered in Himalayan balsam, so it made sense to clear some of the balsam and replace it with tansy. I started last Monday and spent the whole day pulling balsam and clearing the ground for the first tansy clump.

The first planting area prepared

On Tuesday it was wet from the outset, but I managed to clear a bit more ground and plant out two clumps of about 100 plants each. By lunchtime it was raining hard and my 'waterproofs' were soaked right through, so I had to call it a day. I went back on Thursday and Friday, cleared a huge area of balsam monoculture, and planted another two tansy clumps of about 200 plants each.

 
Tansy replacing balsam

The two larger tansy clumps

If I can get back in the spring and keep the balsam at bay, then this should provide some good habitat for tansy beetles and many other invertebrates.

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