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September 2014
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Episode 171 The “Truth” About Pests

Series of truths 

  1. A garden without some level of “pest” presence is not a healthy garden.

 Its paradoxical I know.  If you don’t have “pest” insects then you don’t have a food source for the beneficials.  I’m not saying introduce pests but I’m saying when you spray them you prevent the rest of the ecosystem from filling in.  The best gardens I’ve ever had were packed with pest but each one was under control by a benevolent insect population. 

  1. The root cause of most pest problems is plantings incapable of surviving predation.

Thomas Jefferson knew this.  He told his daughter this.  Anyone who tells you they don’t have pests is either lucky or lying.  But strong plants resist adverse circumstances.  

  1. Not everything in the garden is under your control.  You can’t fix all pest problems.  Deal with it. 

Sometimes handpicking is the only option.  Sometimes the only sustainable option is to do nothing.  You have to learn to let go the attachment.  If a plant has to be sacrificed it has to be sacrificed.  Like the old Kenny Rogers song – know when to walk away and know when to run.  

  1. Beyond organic gardening – no sprays is tough and it takes time.  Pesticides are the dark side – anger, fear, etc.  

As soon as you turn to sprays without trying every option you have failed.  Sure you might get produce and your garden might look nice but you’ve robbed Peter to pay Paul.  You’ve sold your future for the present.  

  1. If you can’t think broadly you’ll never succeed. 

A healthy garden is not achieved by concentrating on any one thing.  You have to be a generalist.  You have to know how to grow healthy plants, how to attract beneficials, trap crops, shield crops, polyculture, hand picking, entomology.

3 comments to Episode 171 The “Truth” About Pests

  • daMonBrooks

    thanks for posting so consistently, you are a work-day Savior.

  • Jason

    You are welcome.  Thank you for the very kind compliment!

    Jason

  • [...] I’ve heard of other natural ways to keep pests away.  My other favorite is from the Self-Sufficient Gardener, who regularly emphasizes that pests are just a natural part of gardening, not all are bad, it’s important to know the difference between the good ones (beneficial) and harmful pests, and that one of the most important methods of pest control is planning.  A resilient garden grounded with healthy soil and packed with diverse and sturdy (think heirloom over hybrid) plants will put itself in balance.  Check out some quick advice from him on how to deal with pests here. [...]