People have basic needs: food, air, shelter and water. The plants that we grow in our gardens and farms also have the same basic requirements.
The beneficial insects and “pests” have these same needs too. When we observe our growing space at the start of the season, we reflect and ask are all their needs being met and if not… how can I meet those needs?
If an issue arises such as an infestation or disease, it is a time to pause and determine if all needs are being met at the proper amounts. An overabundance of water may have some not so desirable results and too much nitrogen can be a detriment to a plant’s system. Too much food and water may inhibit proper growth.
Now is the perfect time to design which elements can be incorporated into our growing spaces to invite life back onto the landscape. Maybe some shallow dishes filled with stones will provide the local pollinators with a drink of water. Another option would to pile rocks with damp leaves so that ground crawlers can seek refuge. Even adding some mulch on top of the soil to reduce evaporation and retain moisture will aid microbial life and provide an opportunity to thrive.
Systems thinking… we become a part of the system in which we grow.
Alaska sown-Alaska grown