Integrated Pest Management
Synopsis by Olga Batalov (March 9, 2019)
The idea behind integrated pest management (IPM) is to suppress pest levels to a point that minimizes their damage, using a combination of environmentally-friendly and cost-effective tactics. The method does rely on the knowledge of both the pest(s) in question and the means available to control them. Your approach should proceed as follows:
1) Prevention through proper cultural practices and sanitation - as the saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." (Benjamin Franklin)
2) Physical and mechanical control using your hands (if possible), traps, fencing and barriers.
3) Biological control using other living organisms. This includes ladybugs and lacewings that will eat most insect pests, as well as specialists that only feed on a particular pest. Also available are Bt and beneficial nematodes. Arbico Organics is a good online source for information and beneficial organisms for home gardeners: https://www.arbico-organics.com
4) Pesticides, starting with the least toxic, are used only as a last resort. Even organic or naturally-derived chemicals can harm non-target organisms. Spinosad, for example, is toxic to most insect pests but also to earthworms and bees. Insecticidal oils and soaps kill insects non-specifically by smothering them, but can also burn plants if applied in hot weather. Other remedies include diatomaceous earth, coffee, cinnamon powder and even powdered milk.
The slides from the March 10th 2019 presentation and an extended version of the above synopsis can be found on the SDIS website. Additionally, please refer to the following resources:
Homemade insecticides: https://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/8-natural-homemade-insecticides-save-your-garden-without-killing-earth.html and https://www.huffpost.com/entry/8-homemade-pest-control-s_b_5667174
Notes on Presentation by Iris hybridizer Lynda Miller
Lynda Miller presented about her hybridizing program at the 56th Annual Birthday Celebration of the San Diego Iris Society on February 9, 2019. Click here to read detailed notes of the presentation by Olga Batalov.
Lynda Miller was awarded The American Iris Society's 2016 Bennett C. Jones Award for Outstanding Median Hybridizing in recognition of her many contributions to median irises.
Caring For Your Irises
Here are links to other iris society websites rich with information about irises:
AIS Region 15 - representing Southern California & Arizona Iris Societies
Find iris society pages on Facebook:
You might also be interested in general gardening advice for the San Diego area:
Photo of tall bearded iris 'Jurassic Park' growing in Jim and Edith Schade garden in Ramona, CA.