You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Spray now, ask later is a bad way


We have quickly moved from “planting the garden” mode to “protecting the garden” mode in these past few days. Last weekend was perfect for diseases to develop, and it was excellent weather for slugs, as well.

When it comes to pest control in the garden, the first thing you have to do is be vigilant. Inspect your plants on a regular basis so that if you do find something wrong, you can identify it before it becomes a major program.

The next step (before you spray anything!) is to identify the problem. I really get concerned when I get calls about plant problems and the person says, “I have sprayed it (the plant) with everything and nothing seems to work!”

Don’t even think about spraying your plant problems away until you identify the cause. Even then, the next step is to determine if “spraying” is even necessary.

In many cases, the pest is not on the plant, or the disease has already presented itself and it’s too late to spray. Save yourself time and money before using a pesticide. On top of that, don’t introduce a pesticide into the environment if it’s not necessary.

This approach is called integrated pest management or IPM. IPM requires that you identify the pest and then determine your options. These options are mechanical, biological or chemical, with chemical being the last choice.

Mechanical options vary, depending upon the pest. For instance, cultivation of weeds is considered mechanical removal. Using a herbicide would be a chemical option.

Mechanical options for an insect can be handpicking and squashing or covering the crop with a row cover to prevent the insect from laying eggs.

In my garden, I picked the asparagus beetles off the plant and squashed them. We are still harvesting asparagus, and I don’t want to spray. I will spray the plants after the picking season ends in order to completely eradicate this beetle.

I am going to use row covers on my Brussels sprouts to prevent the cabbage moths from laying eggs.

IPM also requires that you determine your tolerance and the plant’s tolerance for a particular pest. For instance, I tolerate Japanese beetle damage on my linden trees and don’t bother spraying. However, I don’t tolerate Japanese beetles feeding on my hibiscus, so I take steps to manage this pest, including the use of pesticides.

Biological controls include allowing the lady beetle and lacewing larvae and adults clean the aphids off of the plant. When I have tomato hornworms feeding on my tomatoes, I look for the white cocoons hitchhiking on their backs and let them be. This is a parasitic wasp that lays its eggs in the stomach of the caterpillar and kills it! Yea!

Finally, when it comes to the point that I have decided to use chemicals (which is rare in my garden), I determine exactly what to use and the timing. And then of course, I follow label directions to a T.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Coupon deals of the week
Coupon deals of the week

Coupon availability and coupon values may vary within different regions or neighborhoods. Colgate Toothpaste This week at CVS, Colgate Enamel Health toothpaste is on sale for $3.99. Visit www.colgate.com and click on “Special Offers” to print out a coupon good for 75 cents off this item. Then, when you check out, you will also receive $2...
Local psychologist offers tips on talking to kids about school violence
Local psychologist offers tips on talking to kids about school violence

With many struggling to cope with today’s school shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School, a local psychologist has tips for parents as they respond to questions and concerns about school violence. "I think it's important to allow children to talk about any anxiety or concerns that they may be having," said Mary Beth DeWitt, PhD,...
Teacher’s ‘silly question’ turns out to be a great one

Scott Ervin is an independent facilitator of parenting with Love and Logic and The Nine Essential Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom. He is a parent and behavioral consultant based in the Miami Valley. More information: www.askthekidwhisperer.com. Q: Dear Kid Whisperer: I teach high school English. I read your column, follow your blog, and I do...
Kellyanne Conway's inauguration outfit sparks criticism
Kellyanne Conway's inauguration outfit sparks criticism

Kellyanne Conway spent her 50th birthday at the inauguration of President Donald Trump. >> Read more trending stories   She attended Friday festivities wearing patriotic colors.  But many people criticized Conway's outfit. Trump's former campaign manager and current senior adviser was dressed in a red, white and blue coat...
Atlanta radio show host's daughter beats cancer
Atlanta radio show host's daughter beats cancer

Then 10-month-old Reese was diagnosed stage 4 sacrococcygeal teratoma in August. Hobby and her husband, Grant Rivera, said they knew something wasn’t right for months. They went to the doctors, where Reese had an MRI of her pelvic region, which revealed a large mass. The family immediately began chemotherapy at Children’s Healthcare...
More Stories