Video Clip: Weed Em and Reap Part 2. Living Mulch System: Habitat for Beneficials

Organic Agriculture March 25, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Source:

Weed 'Em and Reap Part 2: Reduced tillage strategies for vegetable cropping systems [DVD]. A. Stone. 2006. Oregon State University Dept. of Horticulture. Corvallis, Oregon. Available at: http://www.weedemandreap.org (verified 17 Dec 2008).


 

This is a Weed 'Em and Reap Part 2 video clip.

Featuring

Helen Atthowe, BioDesign Farm. Stevensville, MT. 

Audio Text

Habitat for Beneficials

After quite a bit of study in 1995 and ’96, we found that because the living mulch has very close proximity to the crop, in other words, for every row of crop, there is a row of living mulch, we don’t diminish the beneficial or the pollinator insect populations when we mow. Also, as crops finish, like this broccoli here, we let it go to flower and seed and it provides more habitat for beneficial insects. And remember, one of the things that we’ve found is that it’s not just the flowering, the pollen and nectar source, that our parasitic wasps, and our syrphid flies and many of our other predator and parasites need. They also need the cover and even mowing maintains quite a bit of cover. One of the predators that needs this cover the most is ground beetles, carabid beetles. Also spiders require this cover. We found significant increases in the population of those kinds of predators by doing this mowing and leaving the residue on the surface.
 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.