Tansy is a herbaceous plant with very jagged foliage and yellow summer flowers that has been cultivated for a very long time, both as a decorative, medicinal and aromatic plant. In addition, this plant exudes a pronounced fragrance that repels many insect pests. Indeed, tansy is also one of the favorite allies of gardeners thanks to its fungicidal and insect repellent properties. Simply in association of culture, but also thanks to simple recipes with its leaves and flowers, it can even be transformed into a powerful natural insecticide and fungicide!
The countless uses of Tansy:
Tansy finds very interesting uses in the garden and/or vegetable patch thanks to its natural repellent properties against whiteflies, Colorado beetles, mites, codling moths, slugs, bedbugs, ticks, moths or fleas . For this use, it is the dried flowers that are prepared in decoction. In manure, maceration and infusion, it is also effective in repelling insects and preventing cryptogamic diseases such as mildew or rust .
-The infusion of tansy: For this preparation, harvest and chop 300 grams of fresh tansy that you pour into a non-metallic container. Boil a liter of rainwater and pour it into the container. Leave to infuse and filter after a day. Before using the infusion, be sure to dilute it to 10%. This is effective in protecting peas, spinach, salads and beans from seedcorn maggot or blackberries, raspberries and strawberries from mites.
-The maceration of tansy: Finely cut 30 grams of dried flowers then let them macerate for three days in a liter of rainwater, always in a non-metallic container. Maceration is effective in preventing the appearance of rust or mildew on your potato and tomato plantations.
-The manure of tansy: The realization of manure requires mixing ten liters of water and two kilos of tansy (leaves and flowers). Place everything in a shady corner, put a lid on and be sure to stir it every day. After two weeks, bubbles should normally form. This phenomenon indicates that manure can be used. Spray the manure diluted at 20% on all the aerial parts of the plants that you want to protect from parasites or fungal diseases. Tansy manure can also be used for watering, diluted to 10%. This will also keep pests in the soil away.
-The decoction of tansy: Chop 30 grams of dried flowers (or 150 g of fresh flowers). Macerate it for a day in a liter of rainwater. Then boil and simmer for 20 minutes, covering the pan. After a day, proceed to filtering. Your decoction is ready to be used on your various plants, fruits and vegetables to fight against many insects that decimate your vegetable garden.
It is important to remember here that the use of an insecticide, even entirely natural and herbal, is not completely harmless! In fact, by killing an insect of any kind, an imbalance is created in the garden’s ecosystem. Its curative use as an insecticide should therefore be reserved for the most extreme cases.
Tansy is also used in cooking, but sparingly!
Formerly used as a spice because of its powerful camphor scent and bitter taste, this aromatic plant is also used in infusion for the production of syrups, liqueurs, lemonades, wines. In the Middle Ages, peasants also used tansy as a substitute for pepper. The Russians, on the other hand, used it to make beer, it replaced hops in brewing.
Today, the English traditionally flavor Easter pudding with tansy. Used in small doses, it gives an original touch to salads, sauces or braised meats. Be careful however because tansy can be toxic, it should be used at low doses and with the greatest precautions!
How to grow Tansy in the vegetable garden?
Tansy is a vigorous plant that grows very easily . It appreciates sunny locations as well as very cool, rich and draining soils. Very resistant to cold, or drought, it fears only one thing, which must be avoided: excess water, especially stagnant water at the root level . In the vegetable garden, it is best to grow it a little away from other vegetables, as it has an inhibiting effect on the growth of certain herbaceous plants. Place it rather at the edge of the vegetable garden.
The sowing of these seeds is carried out from April to June or from September to October, sowing in place directly, or in a box. Its seeds are tiny, when sowing it should not be covered . Simply tamp to put them in contact with the substrate and keep everything slightly moist. Germination usually occurs between 20 and 30 days, depending on growing conditions.
When transplanting in the ground, allow a spacing of 40 to 60 cm between each plant. It can also be grown very well in a pot, do not forget to place clay balls in the bottom of the pot for drainage. It will require little care and just needs a little watering.