Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

IPM involves using a combination of methods to control and prevent excessive damage from pests in the garden or farm. Efforts are made to minimize pesticide use but it is not forbidden. If a pesticide is used, it is used knowledgably.

This means :

  • Only harmful bugs are hunted and destroyed.
  • Yes, one must accept that there are beneficial bugs; in fact about 90% of them are beneficial.
  • After this paradigm shift there is another big leap of faith, encourage the beneficial bugs. Plant weeds for them to make homes on. Learn who they are and which weeds they like. Have tolerance for a certain level of damage from the “bad bugs” – not every “bad bug” must be immediately eradicated. Many “bad bugs” are parasitized by “good bugs” and they need their dinner too.
  • Show em whose boss by planting in a time that doesn't work for the bugs, beans planted in July don't suffer from the bugs tht thrive in June.
  • When damage exceeds your tolerance only attempt to kill the pests off in a specific manner. Don’t use systemic or long lasting pesticides. Try to find the mildest and shortest acting agent that still does the job. Often this is trapping, hand picking or soap and water sprays.
  • Incorporate organic matter into the soil. This will help you to grow healthy plants and they can fight their own battles. One of the best ways to do this is to maintain a compost pile but don't compost diseased plant material as this can spread the problem in following years.
    For a very user friendly guide go to
    http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/hort/ipm/
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