Cultural Control Practices: Earth-Kind Gardening - Oklahoma Cooperative Extension


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Cultural Control Practices: Earth-Kind Gardening - Oklahoma Cooperative Extension

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Cultural Control Practices: Earth-Kind Gardening - Oklahoma Cooperative Extension

  1. 1. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service HLA-6431 Earth-Kind Gardening Series Cultural Control PracticesDavid HillockExtension Consumer Horticulturist Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Fact Sheets are also available on our website at:Clydette Borthick http://osufacts.okstate.eduExtension Consumer Horticulture Assistant Effective control of insects, diseases, and weeds should Organic Gardening—a system of growing healthy plantsbegin before the garden is planted. Cultural controls play a key by encouraging healthy soil and beneficial insects and wildliferole in this effort. Cultural controls are ways of modifying the (also known as “natural,” “ecological,” or “common sense”garden environment to hamper pests’ breeding, feeding, and gardening). The philosophy includes the way gardeners treatshelter habits. Cultural control practices can help reduce the the soil, design their gardens, and choose which plants to grow.need for pesticides while still maintaining a healthy garden. A It also includes how gardeners decide which fertilizers to usehealthy garden helps ensure healthy crops, and healthy crops and how they control weeds and pests. Organic gardenersare less susceptible to pest damage. avoid using synthetically produced fertilizers, pesticides, and livestock feed additives. However, the term organic garden-Some Helpful Definitions: ing has different meanings among different individuals, so a synthetically manufactured fertilizer or pesticide may be Cultural Control—the purposeful manipulation of a objectionable to one organic gardener but acceptable togarden’s growing, planting, and cultivation to reduce pest another.damage and pest numbers. Earth-Kind Gardening—a program developed by theOklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and the Texas Ag- Cultural Controls: Making Your Sitericultural Extension Service to address environmental gardenand lawn issues. The program promotes an environmentally Unattractive to Pestssound stance on pesticide and fertilizer use, water quality, Cultural control methods include properly selecting andresource conservation, and solid waste management. Earth- rotating crops, sanitizing and solarizing the soil, choosing theKind Gardening encourages non-chemical practices such as best planting and harvest times, using resistant varieties andcultural, mechanical, and biological controls for garden pests. certified plants, taking advantage of allelopathy, and intercrop- ping. Crop Rotation Certain pests are more common in some crops than in others. Rotating crops to different sites can isolate pests form their food source or can change the conditions pests must tolerate. If another site is not available, change the type of crops grown in the garden plot. Do not put members of the same plant family in the same location in consecutive seasons. For example, do not follow melons with cucumbers or squash. This is also true for rotations using green manure crops, which add organic matter to the soil when they are tiled in before they produce flowers or seeds. Waiting two years to plant the same family of vegetable in the same location is the most effective rotation practice; however, yearly rotations can also be beneficial. Rotating annual flower plantings is also a good practice. Sanitation Many organisms responsible for disease and insect problems overwinter in plant debris such as shriveled fruit. Diseases on these shriveled fruit infect new leaves following spring. Removing crop residues, weeds, thatch, and volunteerDivision of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources • Oklahoma State University
  2. 2. pest resistance, if you must make such a choice. During the Vegetables Families growing season, stressed plants can lose their resistance to pests, so be sure the crop has the water and nutrients it Tomato Family: needs. When shopping for seeds and plants, check the labels tomato, potato, pepper, eggplant for abbreviations similar to these, used to designate various Onion Family: types of pest resistance or tolerance: onion, shallot, leek, chive, garlic Beet Family: A—Alternaria stem canker beet, Swiss chard, spinach ALS—angular leaf spot Cole Crop Family: ANTH—anthracnose cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, CMV—cucumber mosaic virus When buy- bok choy, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, DM—downey mildew ing seeds or rutabaga, turnip F—Fusarium (race 1) Legume Family: FF—Fusarium (races 1 & 2) plants, try to bean, pea, cowpea, peanut L—leafspot choose those Carrot Family: MDM—maize dwarf mosaic with built-in carrot, celery, celeriac, parsley N—nematode NCLB—northern corn leaf blight resistance to Cucurbit Family: cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkin, PM—powdery mildew diseases and squash, gourds SCLB—southern corn leaf blight nematodes. Lettuce Family: St—Stemphylium (gray leaf spot) lettuce, chicory, endive SW—Stewart’s wilt Green Manure Crop Family: TLS—target leaf spot hybrid sudangrass, buckwheat, soybean, cowpea, TMV—tobacco mosaic virus mung bean, garden pea, fava bean, ryegrass, V—Verticillium rye grain, barley, oats, vetch, Austrian winter pea, clovers, greens Certified Plants When they are available, consider buying plants labeled as “certified” or grown and inspected under sterile or quaran- tined conditions. Certified plants may cost more than others,plants by either disposing of them in a compost or by spading but the certification guarantees they are free of diseases.them into the soil will deter pest buildup and eliminate food and Strawberries and potatoes are among crops which may beshelter for many insects and diseases. You can also reduce offered as certified plants.pest buildup by controlling weeds in the garden, landscape,and adjoining borders. AllelopathySoil Solarization Allelopathy, a natural chemical interaction among plants, A clear plastic sheet spread over the soil traps solar has been the subject of much research recently. Allelopathyheat, which kills soilborne diseases, insects, nematodes, refers to stimulatory as well as inhibitory properties. A livingand many weed seeds. The treatment should occur during plant may release toxins, or in the case of decaying plant tis-summer’s high air temperatures and intense solar radiation. sues, microorganisms may play a role in the release of theKeep the soil damp during the solarization process, and keep toxin. The microbes may also modify nontoxic compoundsthe plastic in place for several weeks. OSU Extension Fact into toxic compounds. Black walnut trees and Johnson grassSheet EPP-7640 explains soil solarization in more detail. are among plants that have been shown to inhibit the growth of winter annual weeds and may offer some control of rootTimed Plantings and Harvests knot nematode. Many crops may be planted or harvested early to missheavy pest infestations, while still achieving a full yield. Plant- Intercropping or “Companion Planting”ing earlier than normal may involve the use of cold frames The premise of companion planting is that certain plantsor hot caps to protect seedlings form the weather while they repel insects, or attract beneficials that attack the insects.get a head start growing. The crop then has a competitive There is no significant data to prove the value of companionedge over pests. Early planting depends upon the gardener planting or intercropping, but it is thought that certain plantsknowing the emergence times and life cycles of the pests to may produce substances which confuse insects, altering theirbe controlled. impact as a pest. Some evidence also shows that planting flowers among vegetables attracts beneficial wasps seekingResistant Varieties the flowers’ nectar, and those wasps lay their eggs in the When buying seeds or plants, try to choose those with larva of certain pest species. There is a popular but largelybuilt-in resistance to diseases and nematodes. Sources for inaccurate belief among gardeners that marigold will controlthis information include OSU Extension Fact Sheets, seed nematodes and other insects if planted among vegetables.catalogs, and plant and seed packages. It may be better to Most marigold varieties do not have this capability. Only theforego some production capability in favor of the increased French marigold (Tagetes patula) varieties, such as Nemagold, 6431-
  3. 3. Petite Blanc, Vinca, and Queen Sophia Acknowledgmentshave been shown to reduce nematodes, …certain The following reviewers contributed to this publication: Jimand that reduction is only in their im- plants may Coe, Extension Educator, Agriculture and CED, Comanchemediate root zones. To use the French produce County; Jim Criswell, Associate Professor and Pesticide Coor-marigolds as a control for root knot nema- substances dinator, OSU Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology;tode, they should be planted throughout Gerrit Cuperus, Professor and Extension IPM Specialist, OSUthe garden area, as a mass planting, or which con- Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology; Ted Evicks,as a rotation crop. This does not always fuse insects, Extension Educator, Agriculture, and CED, Pittsburg County;provide consistent control and often is altering their Betsy Hudgins, Assistant Extension Specialist, OSU Depart-the least effective method for control of impact as a ment of Entomology and Plant Pathology; Gordon Johnson,the nematodes. The marigolds may also Professor and Extension Soil Specialist, OSU Department ofattract spider mites tot the garden as they pest. Plant and Soil Sciences; Cathy Koelsch, Extension IPM Agent,are a favorite host of mites. Oklahoma County Extension Office; Ron Robinson, Exten- No data from scientific studies exist to prove the value of sion Educator, Agriculture and CED, Garfield County; Lesliecompanion planting. However, the companion planting partners Roye, Extension Educator, Agriculture, Wagoner County; Allisted in the table on page 4 are thought to have compatible Sutherland, Area Extension Horticulture Specialist, Chickashagrowth habits. They share space well, and in many instances Area Office.are believed to be allies by enhancing each other’s growth andby warding off insects. “Antagonist” plants in the last columnare believed to inhibit growth of the target plants. 6431-3
  4. 4. Common Companion Planting PartnersTarget Plant Companions Antagonists Target Plant Companions Antagonists Asparagus Basil Cucumber Beans Aromatic Herbs Parsley Peas Potatoes Tomato Radishes (2 or 3 radish seeds inBeans Carrots Onion Family hill with the Cauliflower cucumbers) Potatoes Sunflowers Summer Savory Dill Cabbage CarrotsPole Beans Corn Kohlrabi Radishes Sunflower Eggplant Green BeansBeats Bush Beans Fennel Wormwood Kohlrabi Mustard Kohlrabi Beets Pole Beans Onions Cucumbers Strawberries Pole Beans Onions TomatoesBroccoli Aromatic Plants Pole Beans Leeks Carrots (dill, sage, Strawberries Celery rosemary) Tomatoes Onions Beets Onions Lettuce Carrots Oregano Celery Potatoes Cucumbers OnionsCabbage Bush Beans Pole Beans Radishes Celery Strawberries Strawberries Dill Tomatoes Hyssop Onions Beets Beans Mint Cabbage Peas Onions Lettuce Potatoes Strawberries Thyme Tomatoes Wormwood Parsley AsparagusCaraway Peas Fennel TomatoesCarrots Chives Dill Peas Beans Garlic Leaf Lettuce Carrots Onions Leeks Corn Shallots Onions Cucumbers Rosemary Potatoes Sage Radishes Tomatoes TurnipsCauliflower (same as cabbage) Potatoes Beans Cucumbers Cabbage PumpkinsCelery Bush Beans Corn Raspberries Cabbage Horseradish Squash Cauliflower Peas Tomatoes Leeks Lettuce Pumpkin Corn Potatoes Tomatoes Radishes Bush Beans HyssopCorn Beans Tomatoes Kohlrabi Cucumbers Pole Beans Peas Potatoes Tomato Basil Corn Pumpkins Carrots Potatoes Squash Chives Sunflowers (in Onions alternating strips) Parsley Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americanswith Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran inany of its policies, practices, or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services.Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Robert E. Whitson, Director of Cooperative Ex-tension Service, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma. This publication is printed and issued by Oklahoma State University as authorized by the Vice President, Dean, and Directorof the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and has been prepared and distributed at a cost of 20 cents per copy. 0604 6431-4