Class 6
In this class you'll...

  • look at ways to prevent pest problems

  • learn about Integrated Pest Management

  • observe plants for signs of trouble

  • consider some pest management options
Novice gardeners often panic when they find insects on their plants, assuming that all insects are pests. However, the presence of insects, and even fungi, can actually be a sign of a healthy garden environment! As a gardener, it is important for you to learn to distinguish between beneficial organisms and pest organisms.

And even so-called "pest" insects aren’t all bad -- they often serve as food for birds and other wildlife. A healthy perennial garden will be home to a huge number of different creatures, and most of the time they go about their business without a thought from us. However, sometimes certain creatures, often insects or fungi, will cause serious damage to plants -- a sign that something is out of balance.

In this class we’ll look at troubleshooting in the garden. We’ll consider various things -- living and nonliving -- that can affect the health of your plants. And we’ll see what it takes to create the healthiest garden ecosystem possible.

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You are probably familiar with ladybugs (also called lady beetles) and the fact that they are beneficial, helping to keep pests like aphids under control. But did you know that the ladybugs’ larvae have an even more voracious appetite for aphids than the adults? However, unlike shiny red adults, the larvae are half-inch long, lumpy, and far less attractive. If you didn’t know better, you might assume that these larvae are pests, and diligently squish them whenever you find them.


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