Agro Homeopathy

The Plant Doctor  – March 2022

The Plant Doctor – Radko Tichavsky
Radko Tichavsky
Written by Radko Tichavsky

The Plant Doctor, Radko Tichavsky, answers questions about garden plants and crops each month. This month the topics include how to increase worms in the soil, repelling the rhinoceros beetle, how to refresh potting soil, dealing with aphids and much more!

Radko Tichavsky is a Czech born Mexican Agrohomeopath. He is a co-founder and director of Instituto Comenius in Mexico and author of Handbook of Agrohomeopathy, 2007 (Spanish) and Homeopathy for Plants, 2009 (Spanish), Organon de la Holohomeopatía and creator and teacher of Holohomeopathy.

He is now offering a one-semester virtual course in Holohomeopathy (in English). You can learn how to define and analyze holons and how to repertorize the specific homeopathic treatment beyond just disease or pest names. You can find out more here:  www.icomenius.edu.mx

Many readers asked about Radko Tichavsky’s books.  Below is a photo of them. They are available Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. For ordering or information: [email protected]

Editor’s Note: JT (Jenichen/Tichavsky) potency is often mentioned below. It is a centesimal dilution followed by 500 succussions or five hundred continuous turns with a wooden stick to the right and 500 turns to the left (if handling larger volumes). The JT potency frequently has a better reaction in plants and it is very important in preparation of live bionosodes.

Dear Mr. Tichavsky,

When tilling this past summer, I noticed that there were very few worms, compared to previous years. Is there some way I can encourage proliferation of worms?  We don’t use chemicals in planting.

My home is in Pennsauken, New Jersey ( U.S. 08110 ).  

Summer High: the July high is around 88 degrees
Winter Low: the January low is 26
Rain: averages 47 inches of rain a year
Snow: averages 13 inches of snow a year

Thank you

Jeffrey Stein

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Jeffrey, I appreciate very much your question. I welcome it and note that you are a thinking person and aware of what is going on in the soil. Earthworms eat mostly decomposed organic matter and they like anything except citrus debris. One way to encourage the presence of earthworms is to keep mulching in the soil, introducing instead of conventional tillage, the minimum tillage system. There are basically three types of earthworms:

(a) Epigeic species (e.g.,Lumbricus rubellus and Eisenia foetida) live above the mineral soil, rarely form burrows, and feed preferentially on litter. Epigeic earthworms depend mostly on the quality and type of plant debris on the soil surface, i.e. they select soils according to the availability, quality and type of mulching.

They come to the surface to eat at night to avoid birds that prey on them and at the same time they constitute a source of food for rodents, but also for foxes for example. This ecotype of earthworm is the most affected by soil tillage and bare soil (without mulching). Some plants, e.g. mustard, are disliked by earthworms, especially epigeic earthworms. b)

b) Anecic species (e.g., Aporrectodea caliginosa and Octolasion lacteum) live in the upper zones of mineral soils, ingest high amounts of mineral soil, form horizontal burrows, and feed in the rhizosphere. They are sensitive to tillage, more resilient to cold and heat compared to the epigeic ecotype.

c) Endogeic species  (e.g.,Lumbricus terrestris and Aporrectodea longa) live in deeper zones of mineral soils, ingest moderateamounts of soil, and feed on litter that they drag into their burrows. Aneic earthworms are practically not seen at the surface and prefer tannin-free soil (no phenolic substances present in woody debris).

Endophytic earthworms depend practically on mineral soil, do not emerge to the surface, and are always protected in the soil, but they are also the most vulnerable and damaged by agrochemical runoff in the deep soil layers. Glyphosate, for example, decreases the vitality of their eggs by almost 50%.

All three earthworm ecotypes are attracted to semiochemicals from certain ascomycete fungi such as Trichoderma sp., Fusarium lateritium Aspergillus flavus and Basidiomycota fungi such as Ganoderma tsugae, Fomitopsis betulina, Fomitopsis pinae, as well as homeopathic preparations from root systems of plants and trees such as Dahlia sp, Crotalaria sp. Lupinus sp. Phytolacca dioica, Cajanus cajan Solanum tuberosum and trees such as Buxus sp. Morus alba, Wisteria sp. Robinia pseudoacacia, Sambucus nigra Juglans nigra Fraxinus excelsior among many others, and these are the homeopathic remedies that serve to attract the worms to the holon.

The homeopathic preparations from the mentioned fungus and roots of plants and tries are applied to the soil at potency 6 JT, dynamized from alcoholic mother tincture.

Additional factors that decrease the vitality and presence of worms in the soil are the excessive application of animal fertilizers, the amount of excrement should not exceed a total of 10% of their diet. Also soil flooding or too intensive watering can harm the worms of all three types.

The three ecological types of worms are very sensitive to changes of microbiota in the soil (bacteria and fungi) and at the time of inhabiting a soil they usually make consensual decisions in the group about the convenience of inhabiting a specific holon according to its characteristics. In other words, the colonization of one soil or another by worms is the result of a collective decision.

Earthworms have a highly developed sense of smell, and they can detect odors hundreds of meters away in the soil, and they can also perceive vibrations in the soil in detail. They are disturbed by the passage of machinery and soil tillage.

Acidovorax sp. is the preferred group of bacteria for many soil worms and the odor of the roots of Pelargonium domesticum attracts this family of bacteria. Acidovorax sp. (Beta proteobacteria) in turn emit mVOCs, a kind of microbial volatiles that are attractants for many species of soil worms. Hence Pelargonium radix is another homeopathic remedy that attracts earthworms and can be applied at 6 JT potency.


Dear Dr. Tichavsky,

Are there any homeopathic medicines to repel a rhinoceros beetle attack of coconut palm?  I live in Kerala- India. We get rain fall from June to November.

Thank you

Viswaraj Kariot    

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Viswaraj,

Oryctes rhinoceros is a specie that attacks coconut palms by boring into the crowns or tops of the tree where it damages growing tissue and feeds on tree sap. However, this beetle can be controlled by means of baculovirus, a virus pathogen of this beetle. Metarhizium anisoplae entomopathogenic fungus has also been used for its control. This fungus is found in the debris of many Quercus species. You can prepare live bionosode from the leaf litter under an old Quercus and apply at low potencies 6 JT sprayed on the crowns of the coconut palms. Endemic entomopathogens are also useful against the immature stages of the insect: Oryctes Nudivirus (OrNV), the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus popilliae.

Secondary metabolites of chrysanthemum flowers are pheromones that attract this insect so you can use this in tramps to attract adults.

It has been also shown that a cover crop of more than 90 cm height reduced the O. rhinoceros population significantly. Higher or denser cover crops seem to make it more difficult for the beetle to attack. On the contrary, the insect is attracted by humidity and the presence of decomposed trunks.

Azadiracha indica 6 CH and silver nanoparticles, i.e. colloidal silver 6 CH eiminate the adult beetle and Allium sativum 6 CH is effective against larvae.


Dear Dr. Tichavsky,

Can you give me any advice on how to refresh potting soil in containers? I’m planting tomatoes again soon in my containers and would like to reuse the soil again from last year.

Thank you

Andrea

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Andrea, all plants scent the soil, each at their own convenience with secondary metabolites. It is true that reusing soil from the same plant increases the risk that these odors in the form of mVOCs attract tomato-specific pests and diseases and that the nutritional resources of the soil are reduced, but this is not an absolute truth, as the availability of nutritional resources depends mainly on the microorganisms in the soil.

By adding a different microbial load, you can reuse the soil without any problem, performing what is called “microbiome transplanting”. You can prepare a live bionosode from basil and bean soil by adding bionosode from Aloe vera leaf gel, all at 4 JT potency, prepared in non-chlorinated water.

Additionally you can apply Cuprum metallicum colloid 3 JT ( as tomato is a hyperaccumulator of copper) one time, and Calcarea carbonica 6 CH in 4 applications one week apart when the tomatoes are at the seedling stage.


Dear Radko,

How do I get rid of aphids on my pepper plants? They’re very hungry!  I live in Tempe Arizona (U.S. zip code 85281). 9 inches of rain, on average, per year. Around 300 sunny days per year. Summer High: the July high is around 104 degrees. Winter Low: the January low is 42

Thank you

Marvin

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Marvin,

The presence of aphids in plants is increased by several factors, mainly the excess of nitrogen in the soil, which produces soft and large leaves with little presence of calcium in the epidermis of the plants.

My first suggestion is to reduce nitrogen fertilization (definitely do not use chemicals or animal excrements). Apply calcareous complex (Calcarea carbonica, Calcarea phosphorica and Calcarea fluorica at 6 CH potency) in spray. You can repeat the application once a week or once every two weeks for two months. As for watering, reduce it a little and do not use a sprinkler, just water the soil around the plants.

Then prepare Boswellia sacra (incense) in mother tincture. First pulverize the incense with a hammer, then place it in alcohol and wait a week for its extraction. Once the mother tincture is extracted, it is ready to prepare a 3 JT potency dynamization. Each potency is prepared with successive dilutions in a ratio of 1:100 followed by 500 vigorous succussions in non-chlorinated water. Once the homeopathic remedy is prepared, it is sprayed once under the leaves.

Boswellia sacra not only eliminates aphids quickly but also forms a kind of protective layer that prevents the hatching of aphid eggs in the future. The application can be repeated once a month. 


Greetings Mr. Tichavsky,

I need help with a water snail infestation.  I tried Helix Tosta 6ch, but it didn’t help.  They’re multiplying rapidly in my garden.

I live in Jaipur, India. (302006) 

  • Hot season / summer is in March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November.
  • On average, the warmest month is May with 40.5° Celsius (104.9° Fahrenheit).
  • On average, the coolest month is January with 22.5° Celsius (72.5° Fahrenheit).
  • The average annual maximum temperature is: 32.0° Celsius (89.6° Fahrenheit)
  • The average annual minimum temperature is: 19.3° Celsius (66.74° Fahrenheit)

Thank you

Raj

Radko TIchavsky:

Dear Raj,

The use of Helix tosta is a kind of urban myth derived from Rudolf Steiner’s suggestion from his anthroposophical studies, possibly based on von Benninghausen’s research, and retaken up in Kaviraj’s writings.

Although it is true that in general all burnt pest remedies are a universal signal to the pest of an imminent danger of death, and they tend to avoid places that present this smell, it is also true that this signal has a relatively short duration, and in case of very scarce food or favorable conditions (in case of snails the presence of moist soil rich in organic matter and high temperature) snails easily defy the weak signal of Helix tosta and devour everything as if nothing had happened.

We could say that Helix tosta, although repeated as a copy and paste in many popular agrohomeopathic repertoires, is a short-range and unreliable home remedy in real field conditions and under professional agricultural requirements.

You can look for a plant of the genus Euphorbia sp., and one of its characteristics is that they produce a latex that is highly toxic to snails. Prepare the latex in potency 3 JT in water and add as coadjuvant some Aloe vera gel liquefied in water. Apply by spraying before sunset on the plants and on the soil.

You can use also Euphorbia splendens var. hislopii, also known as the “Crown of Christ”. It is relatively easy to get the plant, and like all Euphorbiaceae plants it produces a latex, toxic to snails. On the other hand, Clove oil preparation repels the visit of snails in your holon and can be applied at 4 JT potency by spraying the remedy on crops.


Dear Dr. Tichavsky,

The past summer I tried growing from seed indoors, peppers, tomatoes, string beans.  Everything wilted.  I tried varying the water, the light etc. What are the variables that I need to control? 

Thank you

Karen

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Karen, each plant has its specific requirements, but the base is a rich compost soil, with good drainage. You can combine some compost with a small amount of ground brick or perlite.

It is important to put enough soil in the seedbeds or pots, since the roots of the plants know how to measure the available space and when they discover that the space is too small, they may decide to die or different pathologies may develop.

As far as light is concerned, especially Solanaceae plants (tomatoes, chili peppers and eggplants) require large amounts of light, and even being directly at the window to grow indoors usually need support from a sodium lamp with additional lighting.

As far as homeopathic remedies are concerned in Solanaceae you can apply Lantana camara 4 CH (from tincture made from the flowers of the plant ). This contains photosynthesis sensitizing substances and helps Solanaceae plants respond better in low light conditions.

The first homeopathic applications that we generally make on the crops consist of bionosode vivo del suelo 6 CH.  It is elaborated from the same soil of the pot, the first three potencies are elaborated by trituration with powdered sugar and from the 4th potency the liquid medium (water) is passed.

This application helps to balance the nutrient supply and to harmonize the microbiota in the soil (beneficial bacteria and fungi for the plants). The second application consists of Sulphur 6 CH and Zincum metallicum 6 CH (applied on the seeds), these help the seeds to break dormancy correctly, and to differentiate and develop well the roots.

Then we apply calcareous complex at 6 CH potency (Calcarea carbonica, Calcarea phosphorica and Calcarea fluorica), which applications ensure a good conformation of the epidermis of the plants, and help the skeletal structure of the plants, that is, the plants are kept upright and protected by a thick epidermis and resistant against enemies such as aphids thrips and whiteflies.

The next remedy to apply is Natrum muriaticum at 30 CH potency to keep the crops resistant to salinity and to the small but important quantities of chlorine (present in tap water) which also allow an optimal water balance in the plants.

As for the water, if you use chlorinated water for irrigation, it is better to prepare it the day before in a container and let the chlorine evaporate, not using it until the next day.


Hello Mr. Tichavsky,

This is an indoor plant (below).  Can you tell me what I’m doing wrong? The leaves are turning brown and dying.

Thank you

Alice

Radko Tichavsky:

Dear Alice,

The plant in the picture is nitrogen deficient. Nitrogen is a mobile nutrient, so when there is a shortage of nitrogen in the soil the plant pulls it from the old leaves and transports it to the new leaves. This is the reason for the pronounced wilting of the old leaves and relatively good growth of the new leaves.

Find a larger pot, add a soil with a good compost and apply live bionosode of Aloe vera at the potency 3 JT. In this way you will introduce bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes (Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus megaterium for example). These bacteria have the ability to fix nitrogen from the air and in this way the problem of lack of nitrogen will not arise in the future, making the growth of the plant sustainable.

About the author

Radko Tichavsky

Radko Tichavsky

Radko Tichavsky was born in the Czech republic. He has lived in Mexico for more than 25 years and is one of the most important agrohomeopaths in Latin America. He is the author of the book "Manual de agrohomeopatía", a homeopathy book on plants. Radko teaches agrohomeopathy in several countries and regularly publishes articles in special journals and internet portals. He works as a researcher and teacher at the university and has already taught agrohomeopathy to many students. He is the director of the Comenius Institute (comenius.edu.mx). More details can be found in the following interview: http://hpathy.com/homeopathic-interviews/radko-tichavsky/

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