Beneficial Insects…Who are the Good Guys?

Beneficial Insects…Who are the Good Guys?

Organic Pest & Disease Control
[caption id="attachment_1086" align="alignleft" width="300"] "Assassin" bug eating a potato beetle larvae.[/caption] Most people think only of pests when they think of insects. But, most insects found in gardens do not feed on or harm plants. The typical Oklahoma backyard contains hundreds of species of insects, yet only a fraction can even be observed because many are microscopic and/or hidden below ground or within plant tissue. Most are just "passing through" or have very innocuous habits. Others actually feed on and destroy pest species, while others help decompose plant and animal matter, or act as plant pollinators. Beneficial insects can be categorized broadly as either predators or parasites. During development in both adult and immature stages, predators actively search out and consume their prey, while insect parasites develop in or on…
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Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management

Organic Pest & Disease Control
Quick Facts... Many disease problems can be prevented or controlled without pesticides. Always choose plants that are adapted to your local growing conditions. Avoid bringing diseases into the garden or moving them around within your it. Eliminate the disease-causing organism after it has become established on a plant. The Garden as Ecosystem Twenty five years ago, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) seemed a utopian dream to mainstream agriculturalists. The idea that plant pests could be kept at acceptable levels without large amounts of chemical pesticides ran counter to everything they had been taught. But now IPM is embraced by nearly everyone involved in the field. What has caused this turn around? Chemical Miracles First... When chemical pesticides were first introduced in large quantities in the 1940s, they were seen as miracles…
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How to Grow a Chemical-Free Vegetable Garden

How to Grow a Chemical-Free Vegetable Garden

Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Organic Pest & Disease Control
If you have a vegetable garden then you know that can you lose quite a bit of the harvest to pests every year, this is why people have adopted different methods of pest control. Plants which have been cared for and are healthy will resist pests on their own. Good soil, water and care are necessary for growing healthy plants. First you'll want to choose plants for your garden that have a natural resistance to pests. There are many available plants which can withstand the usual diseases a garden faces, but there are fewer varieties that can stand up to pests. One way to prevent pests is to only grow plants from newly purchased seeds, don't save old seeds to be re-used in a new garden unless you are certain…
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Cutting Tomato Horn Worm Damage

Organic Pest & Disease Control
Ever wake up one morning to this? One day your tomatoes are looking better than you've ever seen them and WHAMMO! Without warning, without notice, they are decimated overnight. [caption id="attachment_398" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Tomato Hornworm Damage"][/caption] The first clue, other than the obvious is little black "droppings" that look like mice turds on your tomato leaves. First course of action in the organic garden is to understand Integrated Pest Management. Good soil and good planting practices... this, however, won't do much to deter this little critter. And the best way to get rid of them is to simply pick them off. If you can't stand the way to the creepy things feel, pinch off the entire little branch he is munching on.  That's what I did below... these guys came…
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Integrated Pest Management Benefits Farm and Consumer

Organic Gardening, Organic Pest & Disease Control, Small Scale Farming
Today's consumer is educated and more and more people want to know about how their food is treated and where it comes from. Words such as "organic" and "sustainable" that were once reserved for a small population of foodies or environmentalists are now making their way into everyday vocabulary. As a result, farmers are reacting to this new shift in food culture and are learning about alternative growing and treatment methods. For three generations, The Orr Family Farm has been owned and operated by George S. Orr & Sons, Inc. Today, this 1,000-acre farm is managed by Mike and Mark Orr. And, two years ago, Katy Orr-Trenary returned to manage the farm's market. "Our family has a responsibility to the future stewards of our land, and to future customers," she…
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