Biointensive Integrated Pest Management is the least toxic and most earth friendly of the IPM techniques being used today.
There are five steps to getting started with biointensive IPM.
- Set Tolerances
- Monitor and Identify
One of the first things to consider is the acceptable level of damage by a pest, both for the plant and you.
You are the one who knows how many spots (or little weeds in the garden), you will tolerate, and still leave the birds and the bees. Recommendations range from 5%-10% for acceptable pest damage.
In IPM small amounts of plant damage or weed presence isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you want to encourage full time workers as natural enemies for the pests, they have to have a pest population to keep them coming back to your garden.
While bugs and disease spots are the first thing people think of when plants have problems, the fact is that pest problems in home gardens are most often caused by poor garden conditions rather than a live pest or introduced disease.
This includes things such as poor soil, improper sanitation and over watering and over planting, to name a few. Learn the best cultural practices to keep your garden pest free.
Choose plants that are disease resistant and that will tolerate the conditions you have in your garden.
You will have fewer pest problems if you plant the right plant in the right place. Hours of sunlight, aspect (north, south, east or west), shade tolerance, growth habit, water requirements and expected maintenance should all be taken into consideration.
Check for weather conditions that encourage diseases and insect pests. Being forewarned is forearmed. This information is what keeps farmers advised when conditions are ripe for pest problems. You can stay one step ahead of problems if you use this information, too.
Next Monitor and Identify
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