plant nutrition and pest attack

M McGuire Michael.McGuire at uvi.edu
Fri Dec 7 12:56:56 EST 2001


Good germplasm and proper plant nutrition will eliminate most of one's pest 
problems.  My experience leads me to conclude that when you have a pest 
problem, it indicates either a problem in soil biological fertility / plant 
nutrition, or else the use of poorly adapted varieties.  When a problem 
arises that needs immediate attention, I  get good results using 
biorationals or least toxic chemicals together with (and this is important) 
a balanced, biologically active foliar fertilizer such as kelp or fish 
extract or compost tea.  I assume some of the pricey formulations such as 
AgPro would also work well.  Foliar calcium supplements are also highly 
recommended where soil Ca can be limiting.  I have read reports that whey 
or milk at about 10% is an excellent source of plant available foliar Ca, 
though I have never tried it myself.


>Hi All,
>
>Like most moths, Sphinx are attracted by light.  You may find you have 
>less problem with tomato beds positioned furthest from your night 
>lighting.  Also, I found an excess of nitrogen in the plants ( compared to 
>a balance with potassium and phosphorus and calcium) is more attractive to 
>all pests.  You might want do do some soil testing and consider especially 
>a foliar calcium to improve the cell wall structure and balance the 
>nitrogen.  This helps prevent blossom end rot also.




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