Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Integrated Pest Management


Integrated Pest Management - see

What it is.

A quote from Longwood Gardens:

“IPM does not simply mean that more pests must be tolerated or that pesticide applications should not be made. IPM seeks to find the most effective yet least intrusive way to reduce the potential impact of pests.”

What it isn’t.

It isn’t easy.

IPM starts with selecting the right plant. Healthy plants are less susceptible to stress related disease and pests. Toting mulch and compost are necessary chores. Shrubs and trees need to be pruned – plant litter cleaned up. Weeds need to be pulled. A soil test is necessary to tell exactly what the soil needs instead of fertilizing by month of the growing season. Grass may need to be mowed more than once a week in good grass weather if cut at 2 ½ to 3 inches. Understanding the life cycle of insects is essential in order to use insecticides wisely. There is a lot to learn and do.

Penn State University’s IPM publications offer loads of information for homeowners.

Creating Healthy Landscapes Series (all PDF files)
#9: Use Nature's Signals to Manage Landscape Plants

IPM may generate low maintenance lawns and gardens in the long run. Healthy plants require less upkeep. Choosing plants wisely, planting with care and conserving natural enemies will go a long way to reduce work in the yard.

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