As growers, we spend a lot of time in the greenhouse. A poison filled workplace isn’t our idea of fun, so we’re always looking for the safest ways to protect our plants from all sorts of pests. To do this we’ve adopted what is known as integrated pest management (IPM). It includes these strategies:
- Sanitation: A clean greenhouse means less food and fewer hiding places for pests.
- Exclusion: Don’t allow pests to hitch a ride on incoming plants, and overwinter as few plants as possible. Bugs love to spend the winter indoors.
- Monitor populations: We scout for pests weekly, and use sticky traps to find flying pests.
- Use resistant varieties: This isn’t always an option.
- Careful climate control: This is mainly used to prevent disease – high humidity is the enemy in a greenhouse.
- Use predatory insects: We do this on all the herbs & vegetables and in our propagation area. Find out more about our predatory and parasitic insects here.
- Build natural resistance in the plant and soil: It’s a long story, but we go to great lengths here. Find out how our compost tea helps in this area .
- Rogue out affected plants: This goes a long way to halting the spread of plagues and locusts. In rare cases we’ll pitch a whole group of plants rather than risk the spread of something we dread.
- Spray when necessary: This is a last resort in organic production. We only use organic products on the herbs, veggies & in the propagation area. Still we have to keep it to a minimum because we don’t want to harm all those predators. If we have an outbreak we try to only spay the worst areas. In the conventionally cropped areas, we use the softest possible products.
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