Hoop House Farming: Pest Management

Views: 12732 | Last Update: 2009-05-01
Even in a hoop house there are bugs, and pests will affect the plants and should be managed without pesticides. Farm and care for plants correctly and safely with tips from an experienced farmer in this free video. View Video Transcript

About this Author

Danny Botkin

Video Transcript

So, let's talk abut pest management in the hoophouse. Thankfully there aren't as many pest pressures or disease pressures in the hoophouse and that's largely because of the nice dry environment, the diseases, the plagues, the lights, the fungal infection, they just don't attack plants when their nice and hygienic and dry on top. So, that's the first good news, the bad news is you still do get pest. We get aphids, we will get some different kinds of worms that make their way in here, but the flee beatle's , the potato beatle's, the kinds of pest that ravage the outdoor crops, they seem to be inhibited by the, by the barrier even with the windows open and the doors open they seem to not get so well into the hoophouse. So, as far as our pest management policy we generally use something called integrated pest management. And that's jargon for whatever works without using poison . We don't resort to poisons, and occasionally we will lose some crops to various pest, but generally if food crops are kept healthy, if they're robust and growing strongly, they resist almost all diseases and pest. So, that's the first goal is prevention. Once, we have pests, you can see, here is a perfect example, we have a little aphid infestation on the leaves of this heirloom broccoli, now that's an ugly site there, but, I know that it's not going to take down this broccoli it's only going to inhibit it's growth a little bit. If we can get this broccoli this big, then it will laugh at those aphids. So, we really don't have to resort to some noxious poison or chemicals product. The other goal with integrated pest management is to interrupt the cycle of the pest so, sometimes in the middle of the winter, I'll open up in here and let some nice cold air in, because the plants can handle it but some of the pests will be killed and sometimes we will also, introduce beneficial organisms. For instance, by growing alliums and onions and leeks, when they go to seed in the next couple of weeks, their flowers attract many beneficial organisms which actually come into the hoophouse and dispense with the pest.