L'agriculture et le
jardinage biologique retournent en arrière pour intégrer à nouveau les
méthodes d'un passé presque oublié, non sans créer et exploiter de
nouvelles innovations, pour cultiver sans utiliser de produits chimiques
nocifs. L'auteure, Beth McMahon offre aux lecteurs des conseils utiles
pour attirer biologiquement les insectes bénéfiques dans votre jardin
tout en décourageant les nuisibles.
Pour minimiser les ravages
de certains insectes dans votre jardin, McMahon suggère de :
o Planter des plantes qui résistent aux maladies et aux insectes.
o Introduire la diversité dans votre jardin.
o Planter des variétés dans différents endroits.
o Faire la rotation de vos plantations.
o Protéger vos semis.
o Utiliser des paillis.
o Sacrifier des plantations au périmètre de votre jardin.
good gardener always plants three seeds - one for the bugs, one for
the weather and one for himself." - Leo Aikman
is overwhelming evidence in favour of eliminating unnecessary
chemicals, which have impacts on humans and the broader ecosystem,
from our lives. Organic agriculture and gardening is reaching back to
recapture methods from the nearly forgotten past, all the while
creating and exploring new innovations for growing without the use of
and over, we're told that gardeners have to pay attention to the whole
system, by creating good spaces for vegetables, flowers, and … bugs.
Believe it or not, bugs aren't bad; in fact, the vast majority of them
have a key role to play in your garden. Some estimates say that only
1-2% of bugs cause garden troubles - and far more are considered
beneficial insects. Bugs are essential to the success of your gardens
- pollinating, preying on other problem pests, and aerating the soil
(ants are great at this!). What's key is to create a balanced
ecosystem and to prevent problems before they start.
growers think about how to attract beneficial insects to their
gardens, a practice often referred to as "farmscaping." In
order to host beneficial insects, you have to consider what practices
will entice them settle in your garden. Bugs need water (ever thought
about a "bug bath" - a miniscule version of a bird bath?), a
good home (e.g., some like to live undercover, so try leaving patches
of leaves under big bushy plants), and food. Bug-friendly plant
varieties often include those with small, shallow flowers, and those
with bright colours, nectar, and pollen (e.g, lavender, cosmos,
butterfly weed, marigolds, and many types of herbs and wildflowers).
insects should be viewed as mini-livestock. They will be
healthier, reproduce more readily, and be more effective biocontrols
when provided habitat with an adequate and easily available diet of
nectar, pollen, and herbivorous insects and mites.
order to minimize bug damage to your garden, think about variety
selection; start researching plants that are resistant to disease and
pests. Selective breeding has been taking place for millennia - it's
completely natural (we're not talking about gene splicing here). You
might also want to consider heritage and native varieties; many have
inherent resistance to local pests. With the help of the Internet,
selecting the right variety has never been easier.
about designing for diversity, even within a particular species,
whether it's roses or carrots. And, while you're thinking about
diversity, don't forget to consider the biggest crop you have
surrounding your gardens: the lawn monoculture, which, like any crop
will attract particular kinds of pests (i.e., leafhoppers).
your varieties in different locations, so if problem pests find one,
they might not locate the other. You also shouldn't plant the same
plant family in the same place as last year. Include crop rotation in
your garden planning, which confuses potential pests and improves the
your seedlings. Some people find that putting tubes (paper towel and
toilet paper rolls) or the tops of disposable cups around seedlings
works well to discourage bugs from eating fresh shoots or transplants.
I've also seen clear water jugs placed over squash seedlings acting
for climate regulation and protection from cucumber beetle.
Frances McGinnis examines new salad greens, which have been protected from bugs by using row covers.
(Photo: Beth McMahon)
mulch. This is very beneficial for the soil, water retention, and it
also does a good job at confusing pest-y bugs (even Colorado potato
beetles can have a hard time finding potatoes with a good amount of
straw around the plants). The exception here is that cucumber beetles
like mulch, so avoid it on your melons and cucumber patches. Make sure
the mulch you're using is "clean" - you don't want to bring
in more weed seeds or herbicides from grass clippings.
using "trap" crops, which are planted around the perimeter
of your garden. These plants are your sacrifice to bugs; they also
function to lure them away from the preferred plants you don't want to
sacrifice. Often, trap crops are planted earlier than the real crop to
head off the pests. When you become aware of destructive pests, you
should kill them to control their populations.
planting is another key to preventing bug problems. This is where
combinations of plants are put together to benefit each other. For
example, white flies and aphids dislike nasturtiums. There are many
known combinations that you can find in books (e.g., Roses Love Garlic
by Louise Riotte) or on-line. Companion plants also result in added
this time of year, your gardens should be growing strong, so make sure
they flourish by performing preventative maintenance. Be good to your
soil - reduce tilling and add well-composted material - this will help
ensure strong plants. Clean up your gardens and keep your compost
piles away from the garden. Scout for bugs and eggs daily (remember to
look under leaves) and handpick them out. If you find a bad
infestation in a plant, pull it out.
all of these great bug-friendly activities, there may still be times
when you need stronger tactics. My first suggestion is the Internet,
as there are so many great ideas and forums that you can access for
advice. There are also strategies that may be new concepts for
gardeners, which are used in farming. For example, using row covers is
very effective for controlling flea beetles. Then there are
"natural" insecticides to be found at garden centres (e.g.,
Ecosense by Scott's) or homemade concoctions, which still require
moderation and smarts (don't spray the soil, which may kill
micro-organisms and good bugs). Finally, change your expectations,
accept imperfection (you can cut out the worm hole), and embrace the
nature of your backyard!