OL 304 Assignment Two Homework
Vegetable Garden Care & Maintenance for Family Gardens & Community Gardens
Center for Sustainable Development
This week’s resources:
Assignment Two Discussion
Magee Example Project Assignment Two
OL 303 Specific Links
Healthy Harvest pp. 47, 48
The Sustainable Nutrition Manual
OL 304 Specific Links
IDEP Home & Community Gardens Module 6 pp. 141, 142
IDEP Home & Community Gardens Module 9: IPG
Permaculture Manual – Garden Africa pp. 118 – 126
Companion Planting and Pest Management – Garden Africa
Assignment 2. Introduction to Pest Management
Part One: Learning About Local Pests
Read through the resources above for background information and some very well presented ideas about the prevention and control of pests.
Contact friends or colleagues that may have knowledge of home gardens – and ask if they have any handouts on local garden pests. Ask your agricultural agent from OL 303 if they have any handouts on local garden pests; if they do, ask them which are the most common and which are the biggest problem. This will give you a good start.
But where you’re going to find the most useful information is on the garden plants themselves in your community’s home gardens, and from talking to your gardeners. They may come up with exactly the same list that you already have, or you might find that their only experiencing half of the pests on your list. But something important is to begin correlating their local name for the insect with the names that learned from the handouts.
You will need to accurately identify the insects. Probably the easiest way to do this is to carry a few plastic bags with you when you visit the gardens for collecting insects to show to your agricultural agent. You might also want to invest in a small inexpensive 4x/8x. magnifying glass in order to be able to observe the really small insects.
Keep your eyes alert over the next few months — new insects that aren’t there in the beginning may arrive.
Part Two: Learning about local pest control solutions
The handouts you received may also have recommended solutions. The book resources that I’ve provided links to have a number of useful specific solutions — but they also have more long-term suggestions that are based upon soil quality, mulching, appropriate water management and fertilization, and mixed cropping within individual beds. One of the most successful interventions in a garden is to plant aromatic plants such as marigolds, garlic and onions in order to confuse insects. The Permaculture Manual on pp. 123 – 126 has a fairly complete list of plants to use in a pest-control campaign.
Your gardeners may also have good ideas that they’ve learned from their neighbors or from their family — so be sure to take note of them.
When you have completed your initial investigations, set up a simple table matrix and put the insect names (local, national, and scientific) in one column, and potential solutions in the adjacent column.
Part Three: transferring the knowledge to the community
Much as in the first assignment you can elect to have a short workshop and then use what you’ve learned during their follow-up with the gardening families — or you can use this information simply their follow-up activities. If insects seem to be getting out of control, or if there are insects that you can’t identify, a safe thing to do would be to take your agricultural agent out to the site and to be able to get their advice.
“12 simple steps in pest control to share with your gardeners.
Healthy soil, watering, and natural fertilizers = healthy plants resistant to insect damage
Mulch your garden
Plant a variety of different plants in each bed
Plant aromatic plants around the perimeter of beds
The next time you plant, rotate crops to different beds
Carefully look at your garden every day
Accurately identify your pests
Learn which insects are beneficial
Encourage beneficial insects and birds
Handpick pests off of your plants
Spray a using natural garlic, pepper, soap, or neem sprays
Before using chemical insecticides, consult with an extension agent”
The homework to turn in will be:
1. A matrix showing the names of the three or four most common insect pests and the solutions which may be successful.
Go to Magee’s Example Project Assignment 2 to see what this could look like.
See you next week.