Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on the long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques, such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices and use of resistant varieties.
The North Carolina Arboretum’s IPM program employs the following:
Choosing Proper Plant Material for the Garden Site (i.e. “right plant, right place”)
- Selecting drought tolerant and disease resistant plant varieties
- Scouting for healthy nursery stock before purchasing or planting in garden sites
- Designing a landscape plan that selects plants for the site’s conditions
Daily and Weekly Monitoring of Plants in the Gardens and Seasonal Exhibits
- Correctly identifying pests and diseases to understand which management approaches will be most effective
- CountingPest population to determine if the pest population is at or past the threshold and if a threat to plant health exists due to pest population.
Utilizing Combinations of IPM Management Tools
- Biological controls – Apply natural products like horticultural oils or predatory insects to combat the pest organism
- Cultural practices – Water under the plant foliage to keep foliage dry; grooming plants to create air flow and support healthy growth.
- Mechanical practices – Mulch for weed management and disease pathogen suppression; hand collecting harmful insect species
- Chemical control – Apply pesticides as a last resort to resolving a pest or disease issue
Fertilization and Watering
- Take a soil sample annually to understand soil pH and fertility levels/needs
- Understand the water needs for plants during each growing season and adjust watering regime to suit
- Water lawns deeply and less often to encourage deep roots and healthy turf grasses and turn all clippings into the lawn to return the plant matter and nitrogen it contains to the soil thereby reducing the use of nitrogen-rich fertilizers
IPM Record Keeping
- Log in garden locations and plant host names for any and all infestations, including pest or disease presence, life stage and counts
- Record history of past problems and method of controls applied
- Record current method or treatment control applied