The most important task of the gardener is to create "living" and fertile soil. The easiest way to do this is to cultivate it properly, fertilization and plant selection, and the use of biodynamic preparations, mulching the soil surface and careful rotation. If damage occurs to the plants nevertheless, various treatments and protective measures must be used, which increase the resistance of plants and
improve environmental balance. A substance is used for this, which occur in the nature around us and are used in natural gardening. This can be summarized by the words A.. Howard:
1. Owady i grzyby patogeniczne w istocie opanowują i porażają tylko nieodpowiednie w danych warunkach odmiany lub niewłaściwie pielęgnowane rośliny. They are real censors, confirming improper plant nutrition. In other words: pathogens and pests must be treated as agricultural nature teachers.
2. Pogląd o celowości ochrony roślin za pomocą środków chemicznych jest nienaukowy i szkodliwy. Such treatment of plants, even if it brings results quickly, reduces the usefulness of the product and gives rise to wrong conclusions about plant health. Otto Schmid (1979) he writes: “The problem of diseases and pests is not that, that they are found on our plants, but on this, that due to the use of inappropriate methods in agriculture and the lack of ecological knowledge, we cannot control them ". When you look closely at nature, you can see constant changes, which, in principle, does not disturb its balance. A homeostatic system is formed, which tends to resist change and to maintain a state of equilibrium. To the activities, which allow you to maintain the desired balance in the garden and which should be the basis of our business in the future, can pass:
1) właściwą uprawę i nawożenie ożywiające glebę,
2) dobór odmian dostosowanych do warunków glebowych i klimatycznych,
3) uwzględnianie rytmów w przyrodzie,
4) pobudzanie rozwoju pożytecznych roślin i zwierząt,
5) dopiero w ostateczności stosowanie różnych środków do bezpośredniego zwalczania szkodników i chorób.
The first point is discussed in the chapter on soil. The second condition can be met by knowing the local conditions and the characteristics of each variety.
The work of Thun and Heinze helps us to understand the problem contained in the third point, regarding sowing dates. They are constantly updated with the annually issued calendars plant sowing dates.
Regarding the fourth point, it is worth mentioning, that many organisms live in the environment of our crops, starting with mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians right up to insects, spiders, mites, nematodes as well as bacteria and fungi. The gardener should be aware of this, that in all the above-mentioned groups there are both useful species, and harmful. Under natural conditions, these groups are in a state of equilibrium. If it is disturbed, then some harmful organisms may reproduce excessively. It is necessary to restore the balance again, which, however, requires great experience and careful action. Professor Seifert indulged in a joke: he offered to visitors to his garden a bonus for finding a harmful aphid. However, he never had to pay that bonus. Of course, not everyone manages to keep the garden in such harmony, but it is possible, if the above-mentioned principles are consistently applied over many years.
More important diseases and pests.
The use of appropriate methods and means of protection is possible then, when we know exactly the causes of plant diseases or damage. These reasons can be divided into four groups:
1) zaburzenia przemiany materii,
2) działanie bakterii i grzybów,
3) żerowanie owadów i roztoczy,
4) działanie innych zwierząt.
The reasons mentioned in point 1 belongs to the abiotic, and listed in the other three points - to biotic.