In a world where pesticides are being increasingly scrutinised and environmentally sound options are being sought, the OMEX product Gard-S is being tried in a number of situations, to reduce the pressure from pests without affecting the soil and beneficial pest predators. Plant pests generally locate and identify their hosts with subtle messaging, for example the potato cyst nematode can remain dormant in the soil until root exudates stimulate the eggs to hatch and the juvenile nematodes then travel up a concentration gradient towards the host roots. Root exudates and soil pests can be compared to a light and a moth. Covering up a light bulb will stop the attraction to moths so can covering up a root exudate with another potent plant extract have the same effect? Gard-S is a plant based nutrient, rich in sulphur and natural plant extracts and once applied to the soil solution it can permeate the root zone of plants, supplying sulphur to the crop whilst temporarily surrounding the roots of the establishing crop with a masking effect, potentially hiding the roots from the exudate sensors of the pests. Gard-S is not unique and belongs to a large family of plant-based extracts and natural oils that can be safely applied to the soil to either support a crop protection product or provide an alternative for organic crops, let us know if you’ve tried some!