The current conventional wisdom in agriculture / horticulture circles focuses on treating the symptoms of plant disease rather than understanding the cause. We understand the concept of killing pathogenic organisms, and when a plant is heavily infected one might need to consider that approach for immediate protection. However, just treating pathogens will not resolve the underlying problems that invited the pathogens in the first place.
First- there is a fundamental reason the pathogen is attempting to ‘recycle’ this plant.
Second- killing the pathogen simply interrupts a process that began to happen before the pathogen or disease appeared.
Third-focusing on killing the pathogen(s) is NOT going to solve the real issues of disease.
Fourth-proper plant nutrition must always occur if there is to be a successful long-term resistance to any pathogen.
A brief understanding of plant / pathogen interaction is needed as we address the issues outlined above.
“THE PRESENCE OF INSECTS, DISEASE, AND PATHOGENS IN THE FIELD IS NOT THE REASON FOR CROP FAILURE; THESE ARE MERELY INDICATORS THAT THE CROP HAS ALREADY FAILED.”
(Dr. William Albrecht)
Insects and pathogens (such as Fusarium) are secondary opportunists. They are simply acting according to their natural order to recycle unfit and unhealthy plants. Nature is about survival of the fittest. Not all plants have earned the right to reproduce. If a plant is not healthy and will not provide the required nutrition meant for a higher life form or reproduce a fit and healthy offspring, then nature culls them out.
Focusing on killing a pathogen is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic; it does nothing to fix the underlying problem of too much water coming into the hull from a huge hole in the ship. Thus, planting trees, shrubs, bushes, or any plant for that matter, into mineral depleted and biologically deficient soils only places the plant(s) in a hostile environment that is counter-productive to its genetic potential. The plants that do grow in that environment are weakened and deficient and are thus more susceptible to and receptive of the environmental pathogens.
Pathogens, whether they come in insect, soil, or microorganism forms, play a vital and important role in nature. Pathogens are nature’s garbage recyclers, the clean up crew, if you will, to take down unhealthy and unfit plants. Thus they are here to maintain the integrity of the gene pools. That is simply the way natural systems work, so if you think there is any way to kill all the pathogens you do not fully understand nature. There are beneficial organisms and there are pathogens and each have a necessary and vital role to play.
The pathogen is NOT the cause of the plant dying. The pathogens appear because the plant was already dying or deficient. You already killed the plants with your chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. You just didn’t realize it until the pathogens were visible.
“IF I COULD LIVE MY LIFE OVER AGAIN, I WOULD DEVOTE IT TO PROVING THAT PATHOGENS SEEK THEIR NATURAL HABITAT—DISEASED TISSUE—RATHER THAN BEING THE CAUSE OF THE DISEASED TISSUE; THAT IS, MOSQUITOES SEEK THE STAGNANT WATER, BUT DO NOT CAUSE THE POOL TO BECOME STAGNANT.”
(Rudolph Virchow - Father of Pathology)
Pathogens have a different digestive system than beneficial organisms (which includes animals and humans). Pathogens and insects are not able to digest full, complete, nutrient rich compounds. They generally only feed on nutrient deficient, incomplete plant components. When a plant’s nutrient content is high enough, most insects and pathogens will leave it alone. Pathogens understand that a healthy plant is not a food source and they avoid it.
Insects use their antennae to interpret the electromagnetic frequencies emitted by the plants, and pathogens like Fusarium, Rhizotonia, Phythium, etc. all work on the same principle. They sense the plant-generated frequencies and they respond to the frequencies of nutrient deficient plants while leaving healthy plants alone.
Once pathogens take hold of a plant, they produce toxins, poisons, aldehydes and alcohols that kill plant tissues and further degenerate plant functions so that the pathogens can better feed on them. This is the visible damage you see on the leaves and root systems of the plants. It is a natural part of the decomposition and recycling of defective materials.
If chemical fertility and toxic rescue chemistry held any real solutions we would have realized it over 50 years ago. Instead, the chemical industry has continually made the situations worse, not only in our country, but around the world. We may grow more food today than ever before, but the nutrient quality of the food is worse than it has ever been, and it continues to decline. Our chemical solutions have destroyed the natural balances of soil minerals and biology and the natural pathogens have multiplied accordingly. And the plants aren’t the only ones who have suffered from it. The lack of proper nutrients in the crops has led to problems of epidemic proportions throughout the populations that consume them, including livestock and humans.
These same chemical companies that claim to give you “healthy” plants also sell you large quantities of toxins to kill all the pathogens their supposedly healthy plants are now susceptible to. The only one making any money here is the chemical company. And in the process, they are destroying our soils, our farms, our livestock, and our families.
Proper nutrition to repel pathogens
On the other hand, if you focus on proper and complete plant nutrition and the proper biological balances within the soil, it naturally produces plants that are nutrient rich and healthy, just the opposite of what the pathogens are looking for. The healthy plants naturally repel pathogens because, as stated above, the pathogens are unable to digest the plants unless they are sick. In healthy soil, the beneficial microorganisms use the macro, micro, and trace minerals to produce a wide range of vitamins, mineral components, enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, antioxidants, growth regulators, stimulants, nutrition and all types of health-promoting metabolites that support and perpetuate healthy plant growth both on the leaves and in the roots.
Nutrition is at the core of all plant health. Nutrition comes from several major sources: the sun - photosynthesis, minerals - both solids and gases, and the beneficial microorganism communities. The microorganisms convert the environmental elements and minerals from their native, unusable forms into forms and combinations that the plant can use. Plants use the photosynthetic energy to power their internal systems to convert the nutrient uptake into plant energy and growth. This symbiotic relationship of inorganic minerals and biological elements works together to create millions of various compounds and metabolites that sustain plants, animals and humankind alike. These metabolites can only be produced if the full complement of minerals (over 80 of them), including trace minerals, is present.
Without mineral nutrition many, if not most, of these plant functions are dormant, which leaves the plants in a weakened, nutrient deficient state. Under those conditions, nature will take its course, and the pathogens will multiply. These are not laws that are flexible or that you can violate with impunity. You either understand Nature, working within the frame work of those laws, or you fight Nature and lose.
The best way to repair our chemically depleted soils is to repopulate all the major biological species, especially fungi, and replace the missing, depleted and deficient minerals (which is most of them) in a soluble, plant-available solution. The soil application of a biological and mineral package designed for your types of plants is exactly what is needed if your goal is to correct the deficient environmental factors and start propagating healthy plants.
God did not design plants to be ruled by pathogens. Within the plant’s DNA is the correct programming to produce the primary plant metabolites as well as some 50 million PLUS plant secondary metabolites that can be produced IF the plant has the MINERAL elements and BIOLOGY groups essential for it to do so. These primary and secondary metabolites activate a plant’s incredible natural immune system. However, it takes both major and trace minerals to activate the enzymes and make these metabolites and all other plant functions operate properly. Fungicides and insecticides won’t do it.
If you are seeking a temporary band-aid that perpetuates the problems, costs money and wastes resources and time, chemical solutions have you headed down the right path. If, however, you are actually looking to correct the problems, a proper nutritional program is the only way you can achieve healthy, sustainable plants with natural, internal resources required to avoid disease and death.