Promote IPM (Integrated Pest Management)
-Cultural control—consider your gardening habits. Practice good sanitation habits, removing old fruit and pruning away diseased or damaged branches. Practice crop rotation with annual vegetables and ornamentals. Know the water requirements of your plants; over or under-watering plants can lead to stress, pest infestations, and disease. Plant pest and disease-resistant varieties.
-Physical control—practice physical control before turning to chemical control methods. Some pests can be controlled by handpicking insects or egg-masses from plants or spraying plants with a hard stream of water. Trap pests using newspaper rolls, boards, barriers, and traps specific to your identified pest. Control weeds utilizing mulch, soil solarization, cultivation or by hand-picking.
-Encourage beneficial organisms and tolerate a small number of pests. Beneficial insects help to naturally control pests. Tolerating a small number of pests will encourage the beneficials to discover your garden.
-Consider pesticides only after less-toxic methods have failed. Avoid the use of broad-spectrum pesticides as they not only eliminate the target pest but also eliminate beneficial insects working hard to bring balance to your garden.
- If using fertilizers, use only organic, slow-release fertilizers.
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If you are interested in any of these suggestions, you can learn more about all of these topics by visiting the Central Valley Friendly Landscaping website. Thank you for your interest in creating a more sustainable landscape!