Today's agriculture relies heavily on the use of pesticides. Even home gardeners don't seem to have a problem applying Preen to keep the morning glory from sprouting and Sevin to eradicate what does grow. Unfortunately, while pesticides do have their uses, they also have many, many drawbacks.
Pesticides are toxic to both humans and animals, in addition to destroying the natural soil fauna. If that isn't bad enough, what happens when the chemicals we think we need are stuck on a container ship, somewhere off the CA coast? Integrated pest management can help! In this article, I'll discuss the principles and applications of this sustainable practice.
What is integrated pest management?
Integrated pest management, hereafter IPM, is the practice of pest management instead of pest control. It's a proactive strategy that involves planning the field or garden to minimize problems before they occur. This involves considering the plant's needs and environment, pest biology, and the interactions between the factors. IPM isn't the same as organic gardening. It's a thought and decision-making process.
Really, IPM is a very fancy name for "know your stuff and plan your garden accordingly."