Successful Pest and Disease Control

Successful Pest and Disease Control

and Gaining Freedom from Weeds

Simple ideas for avoiding problems – how to deal with them effectively and organically:

Any gardener wanting to have a natural organic garden must have a very different approach to the conventional spraying routine of drenching plants and soil with chemical poisons. Primarily, we help the plants to help themselves by enabling them to resist attacks in the first place. We also manipulate the natural checks and balances to our favour by encouraging the pests’ natural enemies.

As organic gardeners, we rely on a series of measures with progressive strengths of action, and use pesticides only as a last resort. We expect to have pests in our gardens; some are needed to feed all the predators we are encouraging. What we are after is balanced control, not elimination. We use our wit and cunning to make life difficult for the pests and diseases, so that we get our crops despite them. After all, plants endure minor infestations in much the same way as we shrug off spots or a cold. Most commercial pesticide use is to designed to ensure the appearance of the crops, not improve the yield. For home consumption, a slight blemish is acceptable, and seconds can be used for processing or preserving.

Apart from building up self-regulating systems, direct action is occasionally needed and is more effective the earlier it is taken. Regular observation is essential so that small infestations can be nipped in the bud before they spread. Observation also allows potential problems to be spotted so that preventative measures can be in place for the following year if not in time for this It is a good idea to get things in proportion and not to be a plant hypochondriac. After all, the greatest losses are caused by inclement weather ruining whole crops. Close behind bad weather comes bad practice, such as overcrowding and poor weed control. Only then do pests come into the ranking, with birds worst of all. They eat seed, seedlings, leaves, fruits and buds, but also many pests.

In some areas two-legged ‘rats’ are the next greatest source of damage and loss, followed by slugs and snails – most other pests and diseases are far less common or troublesome than these!

What must also be considered is the economics – whether or not the increase in yield is really worth the extra time, cash and labour needed to achieve it. For example, flea beetles make shot holes in radish and brassica seedlings; maintaining moist conditions reduces their damage and is worthwhile, but spraying with derris may cost more than a radish crop is worth.

26. April 2013 by admin
Categories: Featured, Pest and Disease Control, Top Tips | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Successful Pest and Disease Control


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