Organic gardening – General Notes on Pest Control Approaches in horticulture

Pest Control Approaches

Chemical horticulture fights off invasive pests with specific insecticides. They may be effective and fast-working at the beginning, but their long-term use may result in the raise of the insects resistant to the used insecticide. To kill those, more efforts will be needed, and the use of the different and stronger chemicals may be necessary. Moreover, killing enemies in the garden, any insecticide will inevitably eliminate predator insects (natural control bugs). And their lack will cause multiplying of the harmful pests. Consequently, a gardener will have to search for some other options to defeat the invasive populations.  

Organic horticulture, on the other hand, offers pests control through the studying and understanding their life cycles and peculiarities, as well as through the combined use of such methods as:

–           plants selection (pests and disease resistant plants are chosen for a garden);

–           companion plants growth (planting those crops that fight off pests and insects);

–           annual changing of the plants location to disrupt the reproduction cycles of the invasive species;

–           the use of row covers during the periods of pests migration;

–           employing insects traps to reduce the population of the pests;

–           increasing the number of predator insects and beneficial organisms.

In addition, organic gardeners usually allow some pests to live in the garden, carefully controlling their level though.

All of the mentioned methods have also additional benefits in the organic garden, as fertilization, soil protection, pollination, season extension and water conservation, despite of the fact that their influence and results usually take some time to become obvious. To sum it up it is possible to say that biological and organic pest control can be constituents of the integrated pest management (IPM). Nevertheless, the latter can also utilize chemical pesticides to eliminate harmful insects, although these do not belong to the biological or organic means.

Soil

Soil control and management are the important things in gardening. They offer the possibility to keep the garden healthy and strong, which is the key factor in the prevention of diseases and pests invasion onto the plants. One of the ways to success is providing the garden with humus and organic matter.

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