By relying on organic fertilizers, watering less and companion planting, many pests and diseases can be controlled naturally. WaterSmart pest management begins with adopting good cultural practices and is accomplished with an organic first-line defense. Many times the conditions for pest and disease infestation result from the over-zealous application of water, fertilizer and chemicals. By relying on organic fertilizers, watering less and companion planting, many pests and diseases can be controlled naturally. Implementing these WaterSmart practices will mean that if chemical intervention is required, pest management can be achieved using far fewer and less toxic pesticides. Imitating how plants thrive in natural settings offers simple, free solutions to man-made garden problems.
More to come
Solarization for Weeds and Nematodes
Solarization is a simple nonchemical technique that captures radiant heat energy form the sun to cause physical, chemical, and biological changes in the soil. These changes lead to control or suppression of soilborne plant pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and pests, along with weed seed and seedlings.
- The area to be solarized should be level and free of debris and large clods.
- Water the soil until crumbly and damp.
- Place clear plastic over the soil surface and bury the edges in a foot deep trench. Plastic can be clear construiction grade plastic and vary in thickness from 1 to 6 mils. Thinner plastic (1-2 mils) will allow better soil heating – less reflectance.
- Leave plastic in place for 4-6 weeks.
- Solarization is most effective when done in the summer months.
Organic Options for Pest control
Options abound for organic control of pests. Consult the Texans for Alternative to Pesticides, www.nopesticides.org