At Greenway, we’ve implemented an Integrated Pest Management Plan or IPM. This is an environmentally sustainable way to manage pests of all kinds in the garden and landscape, and something that all farmers practice on a daily basis. It is an approach that focuses on preventing pest problems by growing healthy plants in well-designed landscapes. By using IPM, we’ve been able to reduce our use of pesticides by over 80%. All of our herbs and veggies are completely spray-free. We’re really going the GreenWay.
Prevention is the cornerstone of IPM. This means choosing the right plant for the right place, using pest-resistant varieties, looking after soil fertility and watering properly. This means regularly checking plants for damage and making sure that suspected pests are correctly identified before taking any action. Also, many insects found on plants are beneficial — they are there because they are eating the pests.
You may have noticed ‘ribbons’ of yellow tape across some of our benches in our main greenhouse. These help us identify pest problems. Many insects are attracted to bright yellow or other colours and therefore can be caught on coloured sheets of plastic or cardboard which have been coated with sticky glue. Such sticky traps are usually used as a monitoring tool in greenhouses. By regularly checking the sticky traps we can find out when the first of the adult insects are present among the plants.
If treatment is needed, there are many different methods, including:
- biological controls: beneficial insects, nematodes and microorganisms that attack pests
- physical controls: floating row covers, screens, sticky traps (for insects), mulches, hot water, hand pulling (for weeds);
- cultural controls: using resistant varieties, crop rotation, and pruning;
- chemical controls: naturally occurring or synthetic pesticides.
Biological Controls and Care
We use a lot of biological control at GreenWay. This is a pest control method that uses living organisms to control plant pests by increasing the balance of beneficial insects in your garden and lawn. In our Butterfly Farm and Conservatory, you may notice small envelopes hanging from some of the plants. These contain natural predators which enable us to control a
variety of pests which would otherwise harm both the butterflies and the plants.
Biological controls are one of the most important and efficient control methods you can use in your garden. Encouraging native predatory and parasitic insects and mites (“beneficials”) is cheap, simple and increases the bio-diversity on your very own property. If done properly, releasing an insect predator or parasite, or a disease organism can establish nearly permanent control.
Here are some beneficial insects and their prey which may help in your garden
- Ground beetles love to eat cutworms, root maggots, slugs and snails.
- Ladybeetles, also called ladybugs, dine on aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites and whiteflies.
- Lacewings are good for controlling aphids, spider mites and whiteflies.
- Parasitic wasps help you get rid of aphids, cabbage loopers, hornworms and whiteflies.
- Syrphid fly larvae (adults are called hover flies) prey on aphids and mealybugs.
- The tachnid fly munches cabbage loopers, coddling moths, cutworms and tent caterpillars.
Contact us to learn more about our Integrated Pest Management Plan and how your garden could benefit from this system.