A Request from the Plant Doctor!
We now have had almost 3 years of this column and while it is interesting, it is also much too short. So I’d like to make a few small changes, when you present your cases. You need to give me more information, so that this column becomes more than just a “clinic for plants.” While it is interesting, far too few of you supply photos and none has an interesting video of their whole plot or habitat. I would like to see these additions. I would love your cooperation to make this the most talked-about column on the entire web. Therefore, below I have drawn up a list of the things I want to know, so I can give much more interesting answers.
- Climate. Are you in tropical, subtropical or temperate circumstances?
- Weather. What type of weather was it in the 2 weeks prior to the problem your plants are facing?
- Soil. What type of soil do you have and what is the pH?
- Fertiliser. What was the last type of fertiliser you applied and for what reason?
- Crop. What crop are you growing, or what type of plant/tree has the problem?
- Stage. What stage is the plant in at the moment? During which stage did the problem became apparent? Stages are : Seedling, Growing, Flowering, Fruitsetting, Ripe.
- Weeds. Weeds tell us about soil pH and structure. What is your most abundant weed?
- Biome/Habitat. Tell us about the trees, plants and animals/insects that live and grow in the neighbourhood.
- Photos/Video. Last but not least, make photos or shoot video! Every modern phone has a camera. Do this before and after, so we can discuss cases on a more ongoing basis. We can discuss which measures have worked and which have not.
Make your story as interesting as possible and I can give you hints on how to manage that whole biome or habitat with minimum fuss and maximum pleasure. I will explain how to become a lazy farmer. Give me the full story and I can explain how these different components of a habitat all cooperate to bring about a certain situation. I can also explain how we can manipulate that habitat, so that it functions as we intended it to. That is, we can go from the monoculture image to the multiculture image, all without introducing a single species. It is by using remedies made from these species that we can create a habitat – any habitat.
As the sole alternative to chemical agriculture, we can help this method produce the changes we want to see in the environment. People need to use this knowledge and apply it in their backyards. That is where the changes come from, because seeing it work, will make them demand it for their food.
From my side, I will put in short videos, which discuss a problem often seen. I will explain in writing what sort of climate it is, what type of soil and of course, which are the most common problems we see in the garden. I will explain the remedies and make it more interesting that way, but I also need your cooperation in filling out the whole story. That way we learn to recognise problems and their consequent results. We have things to show that are found nowhere else. And remember, failures are also results, which will teach us a great deal!
Send your questions! : firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Plant Doctor”.
Dear Dr Kaviraj
We are growing rice in Auroville, near Pondicherry, TN, India. We are growing our Paddy organically but have problems with the following 3 disease/pests; brown spot (Drechslera oryzae), stem borer and leaf roller. Is there anything we can do homeopathically against these problems?
First of all, do you always grow rice in the same spot? If so, it is a good idea to leave the straw on the soil, so the fungi have something to do and won’t attack the living plants. Do you know the work of Fukuoka? He wrote a book, called “The One-Straw Revolution” and it is greatly worth reading for everyone who cultivates rice, (or any other plant, although those have different effects) in whatever country. This man has single-handedly revolutionised Japanese organic rice growing.
As to the direct remedy, I would first see what is the bigger problem, which seems to me the insects, which are probably vectors of the disease. This you can counteract with a dose of Thuja 6C, which acts like an antidote to insect venom, which has entered the body. Here is a description:
Yellow cedar. Arbor vitae. Tree of life. NO Coniferae. Tincture of fresh green twigs.
Pests in general, mites, hawk moth, scale, blister mite, rust mite. Pests in Cucurbitae. Cancer in trees. Galls. Farcy and grease in horses. Fungus gall.
Grows upon the rocky banks of rivers, low swampy spots.
The volatile oil is used in the West Indies as a powerful insecticide.
Teste mentions in his Materia Medica that thuja wood does not decay. He also agrees with Hannemann’s idea of signature, regarding the “resinous callosities of the stems and leaves of thuja might have seemed an indication that the plant is a specific for sycosis and warts.”
Sycosis is according to Hannemann the constitutional disease resulting from constitutional (i.e. hereditary) gonorrhoea. The characteristic manifestations are warts, either dry or soft, cancers and cauliflower excrescences.
From the provings it appears that Hannemann was right and this is corroborated by Kent. Hering says that it acts on the fluids causing: “dissolution of the fluids, which become acrid. It disturbs the digestion.” In the vegetable sphere: “A surplus of producing life; nearly unlimited proliferation of pathological vegetations, condylomata warty, sycotic excresences, spongy tumours. All morbid manifestations are excessive, but appear quietly, so that their beginning is scarcely known.”
Through analogous diagnosis, this can easily be related to galls, either hard or soft, or even soft cancerous growth on trees. A good example is the fungus gall of wattles (Uromycladeum spp.).
Many borers can be treated with Thuja, as it is a remedy that can neutralise “animal poisons”, such as vaccination and its negative effects in humans. Thus many insects that attack plants and trees will respond to this remedy, especially if disease is the result of pest attack, like barley yellow dwarf virus, mosaic virus and other viral and bacterial disease.
Much testing has to be done to confirm this, although analogy also here is the leading feature for its indications. Giving Thuja “internally”, i.e. watering the roots, so it can be taken up, produces more striking effects than spraying, as was found in some of the tests.
Thuja contains an essential oil which also repels weeds and is related to Juglone and Oak, as well as Beech and Azadirachta indica. These trees do not like other plants to grow too close in their neighbourhood and produce allelochemicals like Juglone and Thujone, related to the terpenes and the phenols.
Hello Doctor Kaviraj,
I had beautiful zuchinni plants, three in a mound, and the male and female flowers were normal and plentiful. The fruit would develop to about 2 to 3 inches long, then turn yellow and shrivel up. I went the entire summer without a harvestable zuchinni. Last year, it was hit and miss, but had enough zuchinni for our family to handle. The garden is in full sun, about 300 square feet in a suburban setting, and we are located in the San Joaquin Valley of California. We had a normal summer with no rain and warm dry temperatures, all to the liking of the squash family. I provided about 2″ of water per week and the adjacent tomatoes set well. The soil is well amended clay loam and the pH is neither alkaline or acid. I do not use chemicals but have hosed off populations of aphids earlier in the summer and sprayed a bit of dish soap and water to mitigate the aphid population. The plants have now been pulled out, and beets and lettuce now grow there , all with success. What can I do to prevent the fruit from dying next year? Thank you.
First of all, do you always grow them in the same spot, or do you change place each year? If in the same spot, it explains it all, because the Cucurbitae take certain nutrients as much as is produced and leave the soil depleted of them.
So the solution to that is crop rotation and as you notice, the next crops, beets and lettuce do well, because now they have the advantage of taking that which the Cucurbitae do not like or need. So for them, the necessary input is already available and they in turn leave behind others, which are picked up by beans, which like potatoes, btw and corn, and these in turn leave among others lots of nitrogen in the soil, which the squash needs in the following year.