Cultural Controls in IPM
THE GOAL is to prevent pests from becoming a threat to the health of a landscape or crop
PREVENT damage by altering the growing environment to make it less favorable to pests
UNDERSTAND the biology of the landscape or crop and the pests in order to intelligently manipulate the environment
What are the advantages?
- Provides long-lasting results
- No harm to people or the environment
Here are some good cultural practices to incorporate into your regime:
- Right Plant, Right Place! When you choose the most appropriate and carefree plants for a location, there will be fewer pest, disease, and maintenance problems. Consider soil type, moisture, light, cold hardiness, mature size, and any previous site problems.
- Buy only clean, pest-free plants.
- Choose pest and disease resistant varieties when available.
- Water Efficiently! Too much or too little irrigation contributes to pest problems.
- Wet foliage from irrigation can encourage disease.
- Fertilize Appropriately! An overload of nitrogen causes an abundance of lush growth that is very attractive to pests.
- Good air circulation discourages pests and disease.
- Clean tools and equipment to prevent the spread of disease.
- Get rid of diseased plants and dead plant tissue promptly.
- Break an insect, disease, or nematode cycle by not replanting susceptible plants where they have failed before.
- Mulch to prevent weeds, disease, and insects while protecting against moisture and fertilizer loss.
- Observe indicator plants for clues on environmental conditions. For example, Dollarweed in turf indicates excessive moisture.