Series of truths
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.