The Best Practices approach, sometimes called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an environmentally sensitive approach to dealing with garden pests. This approach uses the scientific understanding of pests and diseases to determine if a problem requires treatment, and if so, how to proceed in the safest effective way while taking into account the specific sensitivities of the site.
Some factors to consider when choosing a solution to your pest problem:
Our best practice definitions provide you with clear steps for finding the best way to solve garden problems. Best practices are assured when these steps are applied in each situation:
It should be noted that Best Practices is not Synthetic vs. Organic. If control is warranted then it is a matter of choosing the right tool to achieve an acceptable result that will minimize harm to humans, wildlife and the environment.
Biological control would consist of natural enemies: predators, parasites, pathogens, competitors (ladybugs, beneficial nematodes or bacillus strains, etc.).
Cultural controls would be practices that prevent of slow the spread of the problem (crop rotation, pruning, watering methods, etc.).
Mechanical and physical methods would include traps for pests, bird netting, row covers, mulching, and removing pests by hand.
Chemical control would be the safest effective pesticides, fungicides or herbicides.
For an in-depth explanation of these steps please see the links to the most common garden pests below.
Print out our brochure Best Practices for Integrated Pest Management brochure.
As you can see, there is a basic formula one can follow when trying to figure out the proper approach to the various problems we face in our gardens. Starting with right plant/right place will go a long way to ensuring success. The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is very applicable here. Remember that gardening is a lifelong learning experience. Have fun and enjoy the process.
Our staff is always happy to help identify the correct Best Practices approach for you. Just bring a picture or leaf sample in to our information desk, we will take it from there.
Many insects, fungi, and bacteria can benefit your garden in one way or another. Beneficials come in many shapes and sizes and each help your garden in their own way, including controlling pests and pollinating plants.
Creating a suitable habitat in your garden will attract beneficials, helping you to have a sustainable garden and support native wildlife. When relying on beneficials as a form of pest control you must be patient and tolerant of a few pests in your garden, and some damage to your plants. Without a few pests around your beneficials won’t have anything to eat!
Invite beneficials into your Garden
The Best Practices approach, sometimes called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an environmentally sensitive approach to dealing with garden pests. Printable pdfs can be found on each page.