K.R.N. we do not like pesticides very much...
Our plants don't like them; some cause damage to the leaves;
growth can be slower; and often the plants lose their 'healthy
Our staff don't like them... pesticides are nasty things to
work with; protective clothing is required which is hot and
sweaty to work in and the plants cannot be handled for a while
Our environment doesn't like them... we have all heard about
Pesticides and the Environment.
'Friendly Bugs' don't like them...in a crop of plants there
are a number of natural beneficial organisms which help to
control pests and diseases.
Pests and Diseases do like them!! Well, OK, they don't actually
like them but often they will start to tolerate pesticides.
Many pests are becoming difficult to kill as they build resistance
what do we do instead?
At K.R.N. we use something called Integrated Pest Management
(IPM). We call on the help of beneficial organisms to control
the levels of pests and diseases on our nursery. Only if the
pests start winning the battle do we apply a suitable pesticide;
one which has a minimal detrimental effect on our beneficial
organisms but will redress the balance and allow our bugs
to gain the upper hand. We aim for zero levels of pests on
our plants and so we often have an overwill situation by applying
large numbers of beneficial organisms.
do we use?
Each pest requires a different strategy and there are a lot
of beneficial organisms up for the job;
Bugs - Predatory and Parasitic insects and nematodes
which will hunt down pests and devour them or even lay eggs
inside pests. Most of these are tiny and cannot easily be
seen by the eye so there is no danger to Fred the hamster
being eaten once the plant is placed in the house!
Fungi - Usually these are bad for plants causing mildew,
root rots, rusts etc. But there are a few which are on our
side and they are very effective. The one we use is called
Verticillium lecanii, once the spores are sprayed on to the
crop they infect Whitefly, Aphids and Thrips eventually, killing
them over a few days.
Garlic!! - Tastes great in your curry but have you
noticed that everyone seems to keep their distance the morning
after? Well, Thrips don't like the smell either so we spray
our crops with Garlic extract, and it works very well. One
unfortunate consequence is that the whole place smells like
a pizza restaurant!
So spare a thought for our poor Greenfly and Red Spider ....
they just don't stand a chance!