Integrated Pest Management

I.P.M (integrated pest management) is an organic approach to pest and disease management in our landscapes.

By maintaining good cultural practices and using biological methods as needed, we can achieve our goals of having healthy and productive gardens. These achieved goals not only benefit our bodies, minds and souls but also benefit the environment from which we live and grow.

IPM starts with a good understanding of the soil that we grow in, the plants and locations that we choose and the insects, good and bad, that call our gardens home.

IPM continues with a solid routine and healthy habits like keeping our gardens neat and tidy, our tools clean and sharp, scouting for pests and disease on a regular basis, watering and fertilizing only as needed, and keeping accurate records. Remember, too much of a good thing is never a good thing.

Know this. Unless you plan on nuking your whole place with chemicals and pesticides that kill off our bees and other pollinators and poison our water (FACT), pests and disease are part of the growing process. That’s why it’s important to be able to identity the pest or disease that is causing the problem, learn about its life-cycles and habits and target that specific problem only.

When pests do make their guest appearance, keep them off the plants by using methods such as hand picking, squishing, flicking, hosing off with a heavy stream of water, and using a trap, or a physical barrier.

Sometimes the cultural practices we use in our gardens just aren’t enough. If these methods can’t keep up, then move on to the use of a biological. Biological control methods include using beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, praying mantis and braconid wasps. Just to name a few. Another biological method is the use of naturally occurring bacteria like Bacillus thuringinesis (Bt). When used properly, these bacteria based products only affect the targeted pests and are safe to use around our beneficial insects, pollinators and bees and on our edibles.

An IPM approach to gardening and growing is fun, educational and super rewarding.

Keep Growing!

Renee

Scouting for pests and using recycled yogurt containers as a physical barrier

Keeping the garden neat and tidy, using gravel to define walkways and structures for plants to climb are all good practices

Keeping a watchful eye for disease and disposing of it. Disease tends to start at the bottom and spread its way up.

Again, scouting for pests being sure to look on the underside of the foliage.

Spraying with a biological like Bt

Know your enemy! Japanese beetles wreaking havoc on my green bean plants.

Potato beetle. Um, let’s just say Get a room!

Eggs of squash bug are much easier to wipe off then trying to catch the nymphs once they hatch. Be proactive.

Bad bug: Striped Cucumber Beetle

Good bug: The famous Ladybug

Written by our special guest Renee Bolivar from Gardens by Renee.

Gardens by Renee was created to help people learn how to grow their own clean fruits, veggies, herbs and edible flowers in their own backyards.  We practice organic methods that are not only good for our environment but helpful when obtaining a healthy lifestyle.  We offer design consulting, hands-on workshops in the garden, maintenance and so much more.  We believe in keeping things simple, raw and getting back to the basics.  We’re extremely passionate about what we do and look forward to growing with you!

Learn more about Gardens by Renee here!

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1 Comment

  1. Craig Bolivar

    Fantastic!

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