Information is everything. Knowing the exact situation of anything is definitely worth the effort and can be very useful especially when trying to come up with a proper response. This ideology can actually be applied to your plants!
Have you ever been in a greenhouse and see those yellow-looking card things that are located near the plants? Upon closer inspection, you see them filled with dead insects and you come up with the conclusion that the yellow thing is a sticky card that eliminates pests. Well, not exactly. These sticky cards do collect insects and pests but they do more than just that. Similar to a scout or an outpost, they are actually stationed there in order to collect data on the plant and the pests that may be residing there.
How does it work? Well, it’s not as complicated as you think, a certain color of a card will attract a certain group of a pest. Similar to a fly paper, once the insects or pests come into contact with the card, they stick to it. In general, yellow colored cards are used to attract flying adult aphids, gnats, whitefly and much more while the blue colored cards are used to attract flying thrips and shore flies.
Before setting up the sticky cards, some preemptive measures can be done in order to reduce the number of pests that can invade your crops. These measures include: removing water/liquid around the area, use sterile equipment (even your hand), and remove dead materials. After doing so, you can now set up the sticky cards. Generally speaking, you can opt to place the cards around 4 to 6 inches above your crops. You can use 3-4 cards per 1000 sq. ft. to maximize the coverage of the cards. You should also change the cards in a weekly manner as its stickiness can lose potency over time when debris and other materials fill in the surface.
Data can be gathered from the card based on the number of pests together with the situation of the environment. This information can then be used to determine probable causes for the attraction and certain actions can be done to eliminate any problems thereafter. Keeping track of these data will prove to be useful as it can determine trends in the population of certain pests. Information on these can shed some light as to what is the certain situation of the plant and what the grower can do about it. Additionally, you can actually graph this on an excel sheet to see other trends and any cause and effect relationships.
When gathering data, here are the important ones to take note of: date, location, kind of pest, a number of pest, source, temperature, and humidity. Taking note of these can inform the grower as to what is really happening to the plant that may be invisible to the eye. For example, the number of molds is increasing. In this situation, the number of molds can then be compared to the humidity level. The grower can then take action and maybe lower the humidity level. Come next review, the number of molds went down which suggests that the environment of the plant was indeed humid enough for the molds to grow.
Indeed, knowing the situation can give you the edge in taking care of your plants. With the proper data, you as a grower can then take appropriate action for your crops which will definitely increase the overall outcome of your crops.