Any farm faces problems due to pests or diseases from time to time. But the practices followed to deal with these situations vary greatly. Our solution is to concentrate on soil health and prevention, and occasionally use organic/natural cures.
- Use manure liberally (after ensuring that its well decomposed) for healthier and more disease resistant plants
- Don’t grow large areas of the same crop (or same families) together, different crops in adjacent beds
- Protect against fungal diseases (fusarium wilt) by treating manure with trichoderma virde and also treating saplings in trichoderma solution when transplanting
- Protect against aphids by planting trap crops – that also attract ladybirds (white and yellow flowers)
- Protect against nematodes by waiting till soil dries out and then using marigold planted every 2m
- If you can, try and find the right species of trichogramma wasps to eliminate caterpillars
- Add wood ash to the manure/soil while preparing beds so that pests avoid settling there
- Destroy any plants affected by viral diseases (like leaf mosaic virus)
- Select varieties that have better disease resistance for diseases you have concerns about
Cures, for Emergencies only
- For severe aphids or mealybugs: Vikarsha solution diluted and sprayed on the leaves
- Leaf eating caterpillars and grasshoppers: Neem or cow urine as diluted spray, but ideally avoid near the harvest
- Leaf miner – ignore unless severe and then use diluted cow urine spray
- Viral disease in Papaya: Raw milk solution diluted 1:16 and sprayed on the leaves
- Fruit fly: Use phermones in fruit fly trap to eliminate the pests (set up around flowering time)
- Leaf hoppers: ?
- Shoot and fruit borer: ?