Crop Health Clinic

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Gardening expert Mr. Chen, Kun-tsan promotes the greening of communities
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Dealing with annoying pests problems

Dealing with annoying pests problems

Date:2009-06-26

___2IMG_2438.JPG Are organic products really more expensive? Is organic produce malformed, small and bitten by insects? How do I enter the pollutant-free, healthy organic world starting from choosing the right foods? Organic foods expert Ms. Zhu Hui-fang tells us how to create a healthy, organic living environment.

People eat everyday. Consequently, the fastest way to adapt to the organic way of living is through eating organic foods. Ms. Zhu says, “An organic lifestyle can be formed gradually. Attempts to lead a “completely organic life” in a short time often fail due to economic constraints or lack of a strong will. Therefore, it is better that people gradually change their eating habits, allow their bodies to slowly adapt to fine, healthy foods and eventually switch to an organic lifestyle.”

Do-it-yourself gardening and landscaping has become increasingly popular in recent years. People who like to improve their quality of life grow plants inside their home or on their balcony. However, pests and plant diseases are often a big headache for those with a green thumb.

The most common pests for balcony plants, vegetables and fruits include red spider mites, aphids, coccoideas, cutworms, butterflies and moths, according to Mr. Chen, Kun-tsan, deputy engineer of Hsi Liu Environmental Greening Foundation, a non-profit organization promoting gardening. To grow healthy plants, selecting the proper soil is the first step to preventing pests, Chen advised. If you are planning to grow house plants, potting soil is more pure and recommended than natural soil to prevent insect breeding or pests.

Chen usually adopts two methods to control pests. One is setting agricultural sticky board traps around the plants to trap the pests. The other is spreading organic insecticides on the plants' soil.
Organic insecticide only needs to be spread twice a year and people should be cautious with overuse, Chen said. Since the peak breeding season for creatures is spring, the insecticide should be spread before the arrival of spring as well as around June, according to Chen.

___1IMG_2438.JPG Three of the most common types of insecticides is diatomaceous earth, summer oil and Bacillus thuringiensis. Bacillus thuringiensis can effectively protect plants against butterflies and moths. Diatomaceous earth and summer oil are good for all kinds of pests. For the best result, it is best to first spread Bacillus thuringiensis for killing butterflies and moths, then use either diatomaceous earth or summer oil one to two weeks later.

“Gardening is more than one's hobby or interest,” Chen said.

To fully understand how to be a successful gardener and create an exuberant garden, one should understand the uniqueness and character of plants, put plants in the right places, and provide them with bright sunlight, air and water.

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