What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and How To Use It In Your Garden

Hi I’m Tricia an organic gardener. Every
gardner has to deal with pests, today we’re gonna talk about integrated
pest management or IPM for short. With integrated pest management you use a
combination of different types of controls rather than just one all by
itself, and there are basically four different
types of controls. There are biological controls meaning you
use a pests natural enemy like lady bugs for aphids
or Bacillus thuringiensis also called Bt for mosquitoes. Cultural controls are aimed at making
the environment unsuitable for pests, for example don’t leave dropped apples around
your trees for pests to over winter in. Mechanical controls are very effective. These are controls like fences for deer,
copper wire for slugs and snails and traps, and then there’s chemical controls which
are pesticides. In IPM pesticides are a last resort. As an organic gardener I use natural
sprays like insecticidal soap, spinosad and neem oil. And using a combination of these
controls at the right time is key to IPM, and the acronym P A M S will help you know what to do and when to do it. “P” stands for preventive. For example to help prevent problems
use disease and pest free seeds and transplants. Another way to take some preventive
measures is the setup your irrigation to water in the early morning instead of
in the evening. Watering in the evening can promote fungus growth. To prevent problems keep a tidy garden. Remove any weeds or diseased or
dead plants and rotten fruit, any of that can harbor pests. “A” is for avoidance you want to avoid
damage by pests that are present. Practice crop rotation in other words
don’t plant garlic and onions in the same place two years in a row. Choose plants that are resistant to
diseases that are known to be in your area, for example these contender beans resist
mildew. Put bird net over your cherries in berries. “M” is for monitoring. Pay attention to what’s
happening in your garden. Identify and keep track of what kinds of
pests and diseases you see. I’m putting up a pheromone trap and that
will let me know if the specific pest is present. If you find that pets are present that’s
time for the last step of P A M S, suppression. Suppression techniques include weeding. You can use several types of pheromone lures to trap out insects like thrips or cucumber beetles. The suppression technique that we’re
most familiar with is spraying with an insecticide or fungicide. Spraying should be your last resort, since many will kill beneficial insects as
well. Try the spray first with the least
environmental impact. This may sound complicated but don’t
worry you’re not in it alone. Contact your local Ag Extension office
or your local master gardeners. They have strategies for IPM controls for
virtually every kind of pest. So get your pests before they get your
harvest and grow organic for life!

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