Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a horticultural program of preemptive, least cost, least intrusive, and least toxic method to alleviate pests and disease.
A key IPM tactic within these programs is the application of cultural practices that promote healthy plant growth and/or practices that discourage insect and disease pests.
Healthy plants are better able to withstand insect or disease because they experience less stress which leaves more energy for defense against insect and disease. Optimization of water and nutrient management, cultivation practices, cultivar selection and soil or soilless cultivation methods are a few examples of factors influencing plant health, resistance to pests and ultimately crop yields.
One often overlooked factor influencing plant health is the effect of debris accumulating on leaf surfaces that can be a significant source of stress on plants. Dirt and dust, including toxins from airborne pollution, salts and pesticide residuals accumulate on leaves over time, in any growing environment. Debris accumulating on leaves often includes the eggs and spores of plant pests such as mites and powdery mildew. As debris accumulates, photosynthesis is reduced, while simultaneously, more energy must be expended by the plant to compensate. Combined they can have negative effects on yield and leave plants more susceptible to pests. Periodic removal of these contaminants can therefore be a proactive plant health management tactic to improve crop yields, enhance plant resistance to crop pests and minimize the need for toxic pesticide applications.
AmHydro Pest and Fungus Management products are non-toxic plant extracts, oils and biologicals, many of which are Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) certified products. These products are formulated to reduce or eliminate biotic and abiotic stress factors that can reduce growth and yield in indoor and outdoor horticulture systems. The key to PHM is frequent monitoring. We like to define this as ‘check every plant, every day’ as this is a farming business, which requires management of your crop every day. Properly timed applications of biological controls maximize their effectiveness and depending upon the problem, repetitive application throughout the plant life cycle may be the appropriate management technique. For normal plant health maintenance, PHM products are applied at the low concentration rate every 7 to 10 days or as needed.
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