Integrated pest and disease control for your Garden is often refereed to as IPC and is not as complicated as it may sound. A sensible approach to managing pest and diseases in your garden or allotment is essential. Taking an integrated approach will enable you to monitor pests and diseases that appear on your crops or plants, whilst finding the most suitable, method of control.
Gardeners of old may tell you that drenching your vegetable patch or garden borders with a myriad of pesticides and cleansing treatments was the only way to be sure you’d rid the soil of pests. Often failing to explain that along with the greedy grubs and pesky hole boring predators your also killing off all the beneficial insects and bugs that help make your soil rich in organic matter and nutrients.
Thankfully those days are long gone and we look forward to an era where the use of pesticides and chemicals are only for minimal use and part of an integrated programme of control.
As Head Gardener for several years now, I feel have been part this informed shift towards a enlightened form of pest and disease control. On a personal level I have observed a change in the way staff, clients and visitors to a garden react to the use of chemicals in a garden environment, often asking detailed questions on the use of biological control as opposed to pesticides. This simply observation has taught me several new aspects to managing a garden, not least having to consider several opinions and not just my own!
I find clients often just want the best option for their garden and look to gardeners to lead! So that way I believe it is essential that us working gardeners have an informed approach to managing our garden pests and disease in a safe and integrated manner. Take this year for example, long before the roses came into leaf, I instructed the team to throughly remove all the remaining leaves from the shrubs roses and wall climbers, whilst also removing all the debris and mulch from around the bases of the roses stems.
This simply detail cleaning is a form of cultural control that not only forms part of good housekeeping but also removes all the overwintering spores and pests that would otherwise quickly infest your newly leaved plants as soon as the warmer weather arrives.
Combining cultural gardening methods with limited, timely organic pesticide usage can ensure that your plants remain in top condition during peak growing times and therefore remain healthy throughout the season. To often we are forced to react instead of being pro active, often finding the signs of damage when it’s to late to intervene.
Using slug pellets after the damage is done will not bring your plants back to life, or repair the holes in your cherished Hosta leaves, nor will it control black spot on the roses because you harboured overwintering spores, those harmless looking whitefly in the corner of your glasshouse, will soon become a nuisance if you don’t manage the problem.
Problem solving is a gardens greatest challenge, finding a solution amongst the mass of advice, articles and recommendations can be a challenge in itself! But taking the time to research and trial different options is why gardeners are never bored, always thinking and generally a fit, active and healthy bunch of easy going people your ever likely to meet.
I have lots of advice for novice gardeners, suppliers, products words of wisdom and my browsing my blog I am sure you will find lots of interesting stuff, but most of all I want you to enjoy your garden get out there see what works and face each new challenge with a bright new day!
You will be surprised what a stroll in your garden or a walk around your neighbourhood can do, you’ll pick up some new ideas, see some plants you like to grow get a feel for your surroundings and learn a little more everyday.