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close this book The bio-intensive approach to small-scale household food production
close this folder Introduction
View the document Characteristics of the bio-intensive approach to small-scale household food production
View the document Why household food security through gardens makes sense?
View the document Information, education and communication approaches to household vegetable gardening
View the document The household as a production and consumption unit
View the document Definitions of homegardens
View the document Vegetables throughout the year
close this folder Starting a biointensive garden
View the document Layout for a small-scale, household level vegetable production plot
View the document Technological profile
View the document The rationale for deep-dug and raised beds
View the document Why deep-dug beds are important?
View the document Development of rooting systems
View the document Raised-bed garden technologies
View the document Integrated alley cropping bio-intensive garden
View the document Pot-garden technologies
View the document Common garden tools
close this folder Soil management
View the document Know your soil
View the document Discovering your soil type firsthand
View the document Soil modifiers
View the document Nutrient composition of various organic materials
View the document Composting
close this folder Composting methods
View the document Conventional method of compost preparation
View the document The 14-day method of composting
View the document Composting in triple-compost bin
View the document Deep bed composting
View the document Semi-sunken composting
View the document Basket composting
View the document Liquid fertilizer
View the document Fish emulsion as plant food for bio-intensive garden
close this folder Green manuring
View the document Nitrogen-fixing trees
View the document Characteristics of Some Nitrogen-fixing Trees
View the document Cover crops
View the document Some cover crops successfully used by farmers
View the document Cover crops as soil conditioners
View the document Nutrient requirement of vegetables
close this folder Seed and seedling management
View the document Saving seeds through gardener curators
View the document Why producing your own vegetable seeds is important?
View the document Traditional or indigenous seeds
View the document Seed production
View the document Site selection and timing of seed production
View the document Seed harvesting and seed extraction
View the document Seed drying
View the document Seed storage
View the document Testing seed quality
View the document Nursery techniques for seedlings
close this folder Crop management
View the document Crop planning
View the document Using the fenceline for planting annual and perennial crops
View the document Companion plant guide chart
View the document Vegetables that can be harvested in less than a month
View the document Shade-tolerant vegetables
View the document Drought-resistant vegetables
View the document Solarization: A weed control technique using sunlight
View the document Watering
View the document Mulching
View the document The role of organic mulches
View the document Some tropical materials for use as mulch
View the document Gardening in dry environments
View the document Water-saving ideas for gardens during dry season
View the document Growing vegetables in saline areas
View the document Lead in urban gardens
close this folder Pest management
View the document Some common garden pests
close this folder Alternative pest management
View the document Cultural method of pest control
View the document Biological pest control
View the document Encouraging predators
View the document Botanical pest control
close this folder Handling of garden produce
View the document Conserving and safeguarding quality and freshness of garden produce
View the document Non-refrigerated storage
close this folder Nutritional dimension of bio-intensive gardening
View the document Sustaining gardens as nutrition
View the document Vegetables for family nutrition
View the document Vitamin A content of some local foods in serving portions compared with recommended dietary allowances for various age groups
View the document Iron content of some local foods in serving portions compared with recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for various age groups
View the document Vegetables containing iodine
View the document Vegetables with multiple edible parts
View the document Neglected annual vegetables
View the document Maintaining the nutritional value of vegetables: Food preparation tips

Encouraging predators

In nature, pests are usually controlled by the presence of insect predators and parasites which keep the populations of the harmful insects in control Most of the insects in nature are either beneficial or at least harmless. There are many ways to encourage insect predators in one's garden.

1. Create a Suitable Habitat for Insect Predators -- Flowering shrubs and trees throughout the garden will attract many beneficial insects, including parasitic wasps which require pollen and nectar for their growth and maturity. Plants belonging to Umbelliferae family are particularly effective in attracting natural enemies of pests.

2. Provide Alternate Hosts for Pests - To ensure availability of food for the beneficial organisms, grow alternate host plants along fence lines and in between cultivated crops. The natural enemy populations on these alternate host plants will control pests attacking the cultivated crop.

Encouraging predators


3. Create Nesting Sites for Frogs, Reptiles and Birds ~ Logs of dead trees, irregularly shaped rocks with crevices and cavities and plenty of mulch can be a good nesting sites for snakes, lizards, frogs, rove beetles and carabid beetles, which feed on insects.

4. Increase Humidity by Providing Water Holes -- Humidity is much needed for the survival of natural enemies. It serves as a source of drinking water for reptiles, birds and frogs. Many predatory insects live in, on and near water. Well-vegetated small dams, little water pools and swales scattered throughout the garden will create conditions for the build-up of natural enemies.

5. Practice Mixed Cultivation -- Growing mixed crops and harvesting them in strips help maintain natural enemies and confuses pests. For fungal pathogens, the practice of mixed cropping is desirable as the root exudates of another crop can be toxic to the pathogen. Mixed cropping also encourages soil microbes which, in turn, act as barriers to the fungal pathogen.

6. Reduce Dust Build up in Crop Plants -- Dust inhibits the functioning of natural enemies. Growing well-designed windbreaks and ground cover crops like centrosema and lablab bean will reduce dust. Use of overhead sprinklers will also help periodically in washing off the dust.

7. Avoid Spraying Chemical Pesticides -- Chemical pesticides eliminate beneficial insects. If pest infestation reaches economic threshold levels and spraying cannot be avoided, use selective chemicals, such as:

a soil incorporated granular systemic insecticides for sucking insects;

b. stomach poisons; avoid broad-spectrum contact poisons; and,

c. insecticides with short-term residual action rather than persistent action.

Improved application method should be developed and minimum doses should be applied.