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Toward a Do-Nothing Gardening, pt. 5: Organic Pest Management (Lazy Gardening)

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I’ve never done a video about how to handle a serious pest infestation for the simple reason we never have them, even though we do almost nothing to control pests. I’m not sure how much of this can be attributed to our pest management strategy versus where we live and the type of pests we have here, but I thought I’d share with you the basics of our do-nothing pest control philosophy in the hope that it might help some of you prevent infestations in the future.

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Do-Nothing Pest Control Principles:
1) Create an Environment that Fosters a Broad Diversity of Life
2) Healthy Soil = Healthy Pest Resistant Plants
3) Grow in Polycultures
4) Allow Predators to Control Pests
5) Resort to Manual Control When Predators are Absent
6) Tolerate Imperfection

OYR is all about growing a lot of food on a little land using sustainable organic methods, while keeping costs and labor at a minimum. Emphasis is placed on improving soil quality with compost, mulch, and compost tea. No store-bought fertilizers, soil amendments, pesticides, compost activators, etc. are used.

Featured Videos:
1) Do-Nothing Gardening Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLApXYvbprElzu8qZpFGWVZ1Q7FxWLFZ2B
2) Squash Bug Control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlefMeXXA5o&index=1&list=PLApXYvbprElzyOJ2W4nBfA_MtLJ0x0xXR
3) EZ DIY Waterproof Slug Trap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8kzTfxX9Pk&index=2&list=PLApXYvbprElzyOJ2W4nBfA_MtLJ0x0xXR
4) Stressed Plants are Higher in Antioxidants: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcGMHGFpYhQ

Comments

Kal Red says:

How do you control rolly pollies(pill bugs)? Its
eating away my seed sprouts!

paul k says:

so i watch almost the entire video before noticing you are barefooted. i often go barefoot in my garden as well. when i first get up i put on a pot of coffee and as it perks i head out into my garden barefooted. nothing like it to connect with nature.

Anna Forhisglory says:

wow very impressed.

likeminas says:

Hi Patrick. Do you get squirrels or raccoons in your garden? If so, how do you keep them away from it?.

Thank you for your videos.

LoveMeSomeChar says:

Using Packing tape is a great tip. Ty

Patricia Nunez says:

AWE… SOME! I am trying to learn to garden just like you! This will be my second year. Didn't produce very well last year. 🙁

aconsideration1 says:

Hey, do you have Japanese Beetles? I had what I would consider to be a swarm from June to Aug and I was considering throwing in the towel. People said to knock them into soapy water but they hold on tight. How do you handle them?

john mizak says:

The cabbage butterflies and their worms were just horrible this year on my kale and collards. I can deal with a few small holes in the leaves, but not when they destroy whole leaves. Thinking about growing them in a hoop tunnel with insect barrier cloth next year, although I did try it on a small section this year, and it worked really good until the dinosaur kale leaves started touching the cloth, and then I started having problems again with some worms getting inside. I couldn't believe it, but I really think the butterflies were laying their eggs on the outside of the cloth and when the eggs hatched the tiny worms were crawling right through the cloth onto the leaves that were touching the cloth. That's the only explanation that I can think of as to how those worms got in there!

john mizak says:

Hi Patrick! I was having lots of problems with cabbage butterflies laying eggs on my collards and kale earlier this season, but I took care of that with small hoop tunnels of agri-fabric netting. Now, I'm getting Japanese beetles inside the netting and they are doing as much or more damage as the cabbage worms were. Just having one beetle on a plant for a day or so without me noticing it, can result in several really chewed up leaves, they seem to eat even more than one large cabbage worm does.

Adrian Fox says:

I agree 100% with this approach, and it certainly works where we live with more than a hectare of isolated garden in our part of rural France. We had plenty of pests when we arrived but they have all disappeared or become insignificant due to mixed planting and creating a great habitat for predators.

I am sceptical though about how far it works with gardeners surrounded by others who continue to use pesticides or who are surrounded by non organic farms. Back in the UK we tried the same methods but suffered badly from pests spreading from adjoining gardens and fields.

It should of course be a crusade to get everybody to adopt the same methods and show them how well it works.

Celine Spengeman says:

Great videos. Very inspiring to encourage me change to polyculture approach. Makes sense. Those kales look fantastic. Can't say I have the same result. Cabbage worm loves my garden here in Ireland in spite of best efforts to cover and deter. Will keep trying though.

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