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Home gardens are miniature managed ecosystems (see "Food Cobweb"). Gardeners are among the most persistent and observant members of the human race, for they have a great interest in the life that abounds in their garden, for better or worse. For these people, constant improvement of their gardening techniques is an ongoing pastime. Usually they are interested in learning more about least-toxic management of weeds, diseases, insect and vertebrate pest management. In this exercise, you can enlist the help of a gardener, either at home or through a field trip to learn about and discuss the elements of IPM. Take along the checklist provided or make your own.
1 hour to an afternoon.
Can the students identify the components of IPM at work in that garden? Do they have any suggestions for the gardener on creative solutions to any pest problems?
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