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Leonidas is also a brand of Belgian chocolate.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

At Peterkort Roses we want to grow flowers that are as organic as humanly possible. To us that means cutting down on the use of chemical sprays.

This is difficult because roses in particular are insect and disease magnets. It calls for a strategy!

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the name of our strategy. It involves:
  • Monitoring the greenhouse carefully to catch infestations early
  • Spraying only with reduced risk mixtures
  • Preventing disease by controlling greenhouse conditions
  • Using biological controls for insect pests
Biological controls are beneficial insects which kill aphids, spider mites, thrips and white flies.

We first learned about this technique years ago at a rose growing conference. Then we worked with helpful folks at the Oregon State University Extension Service to learn more and get advice.

Experimentation went on for years, and we are still learning. We’ve had our best success with controlling aphids and spider mites. In the past we sprayed and fumigated energetically to kill these guys. Now we have insect ecosystems inside the greenhouse with a balance of predators and prey to keep the bad bugs under control.

Beneficial insects are great for pests. What about diseases such as mildew?

Diseases, like insects, are always present in the greenhouse. The key is to build up your “immune system” to avoid spraying. Controlling temperature, air circulation and humidity can go a long way to discourage disease.

We try to plant rose varieties which are less susceptible to getting sick. Keeping the greenhouse free of dead leaves and debris also helps.

Sometimes though the outside conditions are just too overwhelming and we must spray. In this case we use only sprays which are reduced risk, not EPA restricted ones. That means mild solutions which do not require protective clothing or restricted entry to the greenhouse.

After 60 plus years of growing roses, we are still learning and improving in this area. We’re proud of our ongoing efforts. We hope you also value flowers that have less spray residue and are as organic as humanly possible!!
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