Integrated Pest Management

Here at Creek Hill we have made a lifestyle change. By choosing to use a combination of beneficial insects and fungi, vermacompost, probiotic soils, screened houses and natural pesticides non-toxic to humans, we are working with nature to combat pests. Maintaining this ecosystem inside our greenhouses allows our plants to grow from root to leaf in a healthy and safe environment.

All of our locations are currently making use of beneficial insects to combat pests. Because we have switched to compost teas over the past four years, we reduced our use of chemical fertilizers by 90%. As the rest of the biological program is rolled out we strive to create growing benches that produce safer plants. Safer crops are not only good for bees but also for the people who handle the plant material.

“We strive to send out quality plugs by focusing on the natural process of the plant. Our plants are healthy from the inside out because we work with nature as much as possible.”

- Joel DiBernardo, Head Grower

A Paradigm Shift

Living Ecosystems in Greenhouses

Integrating scouting, beneficial insects, compost teas, and probiotic soils into a high-volume production system.
  • Vermacompost — Replace chemical fertilizers with natural goodness
  • Commercial Brewer — Brewing 500 gallons weekly
  • Compost Tea — Bubbling and brewing with oxygen
  • Probiotic Soils — Enfused with microrhyzomes and more
  • Sealed Houses — Doors, fans, pipes, soil line–EVERYTHING
  • Banker Plants — Hang-outs for good bugs
  • Beneficial Insects — Using predators to catch the pests

Good & Bad

A combination of predatory insects control the pests that would damage our crops.

Verma Compost

Worm castings, beneficial fungus and bacteria, and other organics form the foundation of our compost tea. As a result, our purchases of chemical fertilizers have fallen by 90% over the past four years, and we see less botrytis and certain other foliar diseases. The compost tea coats the leaves with good soil biota, which ensures plant diseases are quickly eaten before they do damage.

Commercial Brewer

An effective tea brewer pulls air in from both the bottom and the top of the unit, ensuring well-oxygenated tea to keep the biota alive.

Compost Tea

Beneficial microbes displace bad ones because they occupy the same habitat. Harmful ones have a much harder time establishing themselves.

Probiotic Soils

We build a living substrate by starting with weed-free sterile soil and add mycorrhiza and other beneficials to start the biology over.

Sealed Houses

We screen our houses and use double doors to keep out Japanese beetles so we can ship to restricted regions like California and western Canada.

Banker Plants

Peppers and Lobularia provide shelter and a home base for beneficial insects. Banker plants let them thrive even when pest populations are low.

Beneficial Insects

A combination of predatory insects control the pests that would damage our crops. The use of these insects is tailored to each crop based on the pest and season. We use our scouting reports to introduce the right predator to eradicate any pest we find. The healthy environment we create also encourages other beneficial creatures, like spiders, to make our greenhouses their home as well.

Beneficial insects arrive on a substrate, such as peat or bran. Sprinkled over the plants, the insects go to work seeking out pests. They move around the greenhouse to where the food is.

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