Integrated Pest Management(IPM)
In accordance with the Green Action Plan of NYU’s Sustainability Task Force http://www.nyu.edu/about/green.html, the NYU Garden Shop is committed to adding an ecological dimension to Washington Square campus garden areas. To achieve this, the NYU Garden Shop is implementing the following sustainable gardening practices:
Introduction of native plant species (click here to find out more about native species)
Eliminating chemical fertilizers
- Biological, mechanical, and cultural controls taking into account a pest’s life cycle minimize the need for chemical pesticides. We can virtually eliminate chemical pesticide use by combining IPM with other sustainable gardening practices. To learn more about IPM, click here.
> Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides
Reduction of lawn areas
- Low volume, micro irrigation reduces water usage by delivering moisture directly to an individual plant’s root system. Flow rates are measured in gallons per hour and not gallons per minute as in conventional sprinkler systems. This results in significant savings in water consumption.
Sustainable soil management with double digging, composting and mulching.
- Conventional lawns consume vast amounts of water, chemical fertilizer, and chemical pesticides. Fossil fuel burning lawnmowers emit greenhouse gases proportionally more than automobiles.
- “Low Mow” or “No Mow” native grass species like Carex pennsylvanica can replace conventional lawns, reducing environmental and maintenance costs.
Eliminating gasoline powered maintenance tools.
- Microbial action in the soil is essential for healthy plant nutrient, oxygen, and water intake as well as disease suppression.
- Soil management that maintains correct organic matter content feeds soil microbes and keeps plants healthy, thereby eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- Using hand tools such as rakes, hedge shears, and cultivators eliminates the air and noise pollution of gasoline-powered leaf blowers and other garden maintenance equipment.
Benefits of Sustainable Gardening at NYU
- Biodiversity in plant habitats fosters a more balanced, disease-resistant ecosystem
- Local fauna populations can rebound when supported by plant communities they share an evolutionary history with.
- Gardens reduce noise, air pollution, and storm water runoff
- Organic fertilizers are made from renewable sources and are non-toxic
> Institute of Ecosystem Studies
> Ecological Landscaping Association
- Studies show that seeing a garden every day reduces stress
- Chemical-free gardens reduce people’s exposure to toxins
- Research opportunities for NYU’s new programs in Environmental Studies and Food Systems.
- Sustainable gardening at NYU can become an example to home gardeners seeking methods to reduce their water use and eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- Native plants evoke the natural history of our area.