Smart Pest Management
Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
It’s Mississippi and we all have pest problems in the landscape, I’d like to share a few tips on being proactive today on Southern Gardening.
Our gardens and landscapes are literal communities of plants, insects, fungi, earthworms and other organisms that live in harmony. Well at least most of the time. When one of the bad guys gets out of line one of our first reactions is to grab a bottle of something. But could something have been done before there was a problem?
Proper maintenance of your landscape is one of the best pest control strategies you have. Correct watering, proper fertilization, removal of dead or diseased branches, etc. go a long ways to heading off problems.
Learning about potential pests and control measures is a great way to lessen the chances of overreacting. There is a myriad of information available in gardening magazines and the Internet. Most of the publications from the Mississippi State University Extension Service are available as print on demand documents from www.msucares.com.
Knowing the particular plants, and your threshold of pest infestation or damage, helps with the decision for control strategy. Deciding whether a cultural practice, altering a micro climate, or applying a pesticide can be based on these thresholds. Here is where your garden journal can help you keep track of pest problems and if they pop up at the same time of the year or after the same types of environmental conditions.
Or maybe doing nothing at all is the smartest practice. Keeping your plants healthy and knowing what to look for are the keys for practicing smart pest management in the garden. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.