Intensive production is a function of regional vectors and vector control
It goes without saying that good biotic control is essential for optimal crop production. In any region and in any zone with a crop being produced for value there is a commonality that describes its arc. Be it humidity, soil quality: Local circumstances are the keys to success. The same goes for the vectors that spread from plot to garden as conditions permit. The bugs are here for the same reasons as our plants - they like it. Our crops are always at risk of vectors that thrive on the same happy conditions we manufacture.
Any pathogen in one part of a system is able to touch into nearby regions or plots of that system. Also, vectors adapt to small system variances and learn to thrive, just like our plants. This gives them mobility. As we cannot escape the bugs, so we must learn to address or overcome them. Some coexistance is required.
Outside, plants ideally grow in thriving systems that give checks and balances to vectors: the wandering mantis or spider, a nearby sapling that tastes better, a breeding opportunity on some unimportant plant...Inside is another matter: without those checks and balances, growers must do or spray something to mitigate potential vectors.
Keeping to a pest regimen is key, whether you use Monsanto or Vegan Organics, (advertising opportunity here) the goal is the same - avoid losses and keep production values high without adversely harming the earth or the consumer.
Diligence and constancy is key to maintaining a pest free environment. Prevention is also a major function in production gardening. Use preventative measures that suit your growing style and keep your eyes peeled for plant damage and other anomalies that signal distress in your plants. The sooner you find a problem, the easier it is for the plant to move on and get on with the business of growing what you want it to.
Easy things that can be done to minimize the level of external ammendments include:
- removing waste and clutter that can host pathogens
- Keep things clean and encourage plant vitality
- Allow nothing to stagnate in your systems
- Quarantine and wash newly introduced plants.
- And my favorite: Support diversity and ecosystem health.
All of this can be summarized as: Do something to the bugs before the bugs do something to you.