Keep weed growths to a minimum. Resolve yourself to spend 20 minutes a week on weed control. (20 minutes with a hoe is an excellent workout so you can call yourself multitasking.) Routinely examining the lawn and garden will help determine when pests have reached the damaging stage.
Damage thresholds include the damage a plant can tolerate, the injury threshold, and the amount of damage a gardener can tolerate, the aesthetic threshold. Giving up a few nibbles on the cabbage or green beans is sometimes a fair trade for chemical - free produce. It is up to the individual gardener to determine when enough is enough. Developing good gardening habits is usually easier said than done, but in doing so you may be able to limit or possibly avoid the use of pesticides.