Thursday, May 13th, 2010...12:00 am

The Importance of Pest Control in the Greenhouse

Spider mites by theGardenDeva

TheGardenLady has invited people with horticultural interests and expertise to contribute posts to this blog.  The following post  about the importance of pest control in the greenhouse was submitted by Ahmet Korkmaz.

In the last decade the field of agriculture has undergone many important changes and improvements. People from all over the world are interested in implementing the new ideas that are being advanced by researchers in this developing field.

Greenhouse plantation is one of the exciting advancements that that has been adopted by farmers from all over the world.  Some of the the fruits and vegetables that are commonly planted in a greenhouse include cherries, drupes, radishes, cabbages, and tomatoes. These fruits and vegetables require unique ambient conditions, which a greenhouse can facilitate.

In a greenhouse,  sunlight is amplified for the plants because it gets trapped under a glass cover with four walls, which shield the plants from the heat that is generated. This extra sunlight and controlled heat promotes plant metabolism and provides nice returns in the form of vegetables and plants.

There are other advantages of growing of plants in a greenhouse. The leaves and other shoot parts of the plant can be protected from different kinds of chemical attacks that are air-borne.  Also, many pests and insects can be avoided to some extent in a greenhouse.  But a greenhouse does not prevent all pests.

Common pests in a greenhouse

Spider mites (see photo above), weevils, white flies, aphids and leaf miners are common pests in a greenhouse, the most common of which are the spider mites. Weevils cause a lot of damage to the surface of leaves. White flies tend to attack the major part of root and shoot systems. Aphids can be deadly to the green parts of a plant by feeding on a pigment called chlorophyll. This drastically affects the plant’s overall metabolism.  Leaf miners cause damage in tomato plantation. These pests tend to bore into the leaf’s vegetative part, which renders the leaf unable to take advantage of sunlight.

Best ways for pest control in greenhouse

There are several ways to avoid pests in greenhouses. These methods can be profitable for farmers culturing important cash crops and vegetables.  Some of the best ways that are adopted by farmers all over the world are –

  • Biological pest control methods: Certain pests like aphids and white flies are known to cause maximum damage to plants. Hence it is advisable to use biological pest control methods to stop the damage caused to the plants. Also one needs to carry out a proper study of one’s farm to be able to estimate the tolerable level of useful biological agents to be cultured. These cultured biological agents eliminate the damage-causing pests. Gardeners need to take serious steps if the amount of biological agents goes beyond what are considered controllable limits.
  • Use of pesticides:  Some farmers prefer using organic chemicals to remove pests like mites and leaf miners. These pests can be subjected to an optimum level of chemical exposure in the form of pesticides, which in turn removes pests as well as their eggs from the vegetative parts of plants.
  • Traditional pest control: Farmers who want to remove pests from their greenhouses can adopt certain traditional methods of pest control. Hand picking is the most simple approach adopted by farmers for the past two or three decades. Baiting is also used by farmers to remove certain pests from the plantation region.  Use of organic pesticides can get rid of harmful pests like white flies.

Limitations associated with pest control in greenhouse

Pest control in greenhouses is associated with some limitations. The use of pesticides ought to be in controlled levels to avoid the poisoning of soil.  The use of pesticides over floral parts of certain plants can damage shoot systems completely. The damage to root tips should be avoided by making programmed dosage of chemical pesticides. The tolerable level of useful pest removal agents needs to be known by farmers when adopting biological pest removal methods. Hence effective and programmed pest control methods are to be adopted for obtaining maximum productivity.

For more information you can visit Agriculture Guide.

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