On Saturday Joey and I took a class on safe, effective pest and disease control at Common Ground in Palo Alto. It's my first time to Common Ground and my first gardening class as well. The class was taught by Teresa Lovell from Our Water Our World. She taught us about Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
What is IPM? Well, it's a is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management. At least that's what the EPA site says. Basically you identify the pest to determine if they are good or bad (yes, there are good ones) then determine if they need control. If so look for natural ways to prevent and control the pests.
We talked mostly about ants, aphids, snail and squirrels. Luckily I don't have a lot of any of these, but part of that is that I have found great ways of keeping them controlled. Well, except squirrels, we don't have any of those that I have seen. Pigeons is a whole other story, but that's for a later time.
I found the class really informative and Teresa was a great instructor. After the class we went to the Common Ground store where then have lots of great books, tools and all sorts of organic gardening resources. Joey bought me my first garden hat. What do you think? I think it's very "Whales of August." I love it! I also got my first seed packets. I got sunflowers, nasturtiums and morning glories. I know it's late in the season, but I am going to try my hand at growing them anyway. Our summer really isn't until October, so they might just grow!
We had a really great day at Common Ground and I am sure we will take another class there sometime in the future. If you live in the area you should drop by or check them out online.