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How to Manage Pests Sustainably With IPM

These dos and don’ts show how this earth-friendly approach can be adapted to any size garden

Fine Gardening - Issue 190
Photo: Bill Johnson

Integrated pest management (IPM) may sound complicated, like something only professionals can do. But this commonsense approach to maintaining garden health is actually something we all can work into our garden routines. Simply put, IPM is about using the least toxic, most effective methods of pest control possible.

Careful observation and good research are the keys to finding the best solution to a garden problem. At Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, we draw on a variety of strategies to manage pests. Cultural control is our first and best option, reflected in our ongoing efforts to give plants the space, light, and other resources they need to grow strong and naturally fight off pests. We also use a variety of physical and mechanical pest control methods, such as installing deer fencing, removing bugs by hand, and pulling weeds. Sometimes we rely on biological controls such as releasing beneficial insects that…

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