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Don’t Panic, It’s Organic: How to make pests bug off

Andy Lopez, Contributing Columnist/Invisible Gardener
12:20 pm PDT April 19, 2017

If the bug does not attack the plant, the plant will not get the disease that the bug is spreading. The pest will not attack the plant if a particular type of complex carbohydrate is present in high enough levels.

I have been telling you that there is a relationship between the Brix level of a plant and its ability to hold off pests and diseases. What is that? By using foliar spraying, you can raise the Brix level of a plant within a short period, and through regular applications you can keep the Brix levels up and thus avoid pests and diseases they carry. A healthy tree rich in minerals and low in simple carbohydrates will not get attacked by pests and will therefore not get that disease associated with that pest. A healthy tree with all of its minerals will have a high Brix level and also have high complex carbohydrates.

You use a refractometer to get a Brix level reading. You read the crushed leaves or flowers for its “juice.” The Brix level will tell you the measurement of plant sugar level of the plant. This will also tell you what the carbohydrate level is, and will also show you the mineral levels. 

A plant that has been given high nitrogen fertilizer will raise the Brix level, but only temporarily — and then it will have a significant “hangover” and will become susceptible to pest and disease attack. Why is that? Humans love to see things grow fast. They love chemical fertilizers that make plants grow big really fast. However, this rapid growth is eventually very stressful to the plant. Just like alcohol or steroids are very stressful to humans.

The key to pest and disease control is that the higher the mineral levels, the lower the simple carbohydrate levels. Chemical fertilizers only help plants to produce simple carbohydrates. Insects use simple carbohydrates as their energy source. A certain type of complex carbohydrate is produced when high mineral levels are present over when low mineral levels which produce simple carbohydrates. So certain types of complex carbohydrates cannot be metabolized by insects for their energy needs, and it is this complex carbohydrate the plant produces if it has access to all its mineral needs for it to grow and build as well as to protect itself.

High levels of complex carbohydrates produce low levels of more digestible, simple carbohydrates. Low levels of complex carbohydrates produce elevated levels of the simple more digestible carbohydrates. It is these complex carbohydrate levels in plants that make them a poor source of energy for insects, while high levels of the simple carbohydrates are a much better source of food for them. I like telling folks that if the plant is food for the pests, it is no longer food for us.

Foliar spraying is a method of applying nutrition and minerals, as well as a way to control pest and disease controls to the leaves of plants.

Nutrition can be applied to plants through the method known as foliar spray applications. This is when you mix either an organic fertilizer or some other type of organic product with water, and you then spray the leaves or other parts of the plant. By doing this, you have allowed the plants to absorb what you put into the water directly into their system — much like what happens when you place something on your skin, and it is absorbed into your body. Anything you spray the plant with will affect it by either providing nutrients needed by the plant with for its food production or by protecting the plant from attacking pest or disease.

Pests and diseases can be controlled by foliar sprayings of organic and or natural mixtures. Natural means things like rock dust and other mineral sources that are naturally mined.

Foliar spray applications are also useful in raising the Brix levels of plants immediately within 24 hours. A refractometer is used to determine the Brix levels and to allow you to see the effects of what you are doing. 

Without the presence of bacteria in the soil and on the leaves, the minerals will not be available. That is the purpose of making compost: bring the minerals and bacteria together! I tell folks to apply rock dust, compost and then mulch to protect it. If you just take rock dust and sprinkle it on your property and if your soil is not alive, the rock dust will not decompose and will not become available to the plants via root hairs. That is why it is important to make compost properly. Never add fertilizer to the compost! The compost must have some type of animal manure. The more the mix of manures, the better since each animal have different digestive bacteria in the guts which when combined in compost will produce a wide blend of microbes needed for the mycelium to function properly. 

The mycelium will digest and assimilate the rock dust and convert it to minerals. Chemical fertilizers only provide partial nutrients while destroying the microbial balance in the soil. Also, high nitrogen inhibits the absorption of minerals, especially the exotic mineral needed for healthy growth.

Another issue is overwatering. Overwatering alone is bad enough, but then you realize that city water has added chemicals that kill bacteria and is slowly destroying your soil. It is important to consistently provide compost and new microbial armies to replenish those that have died in the line of duty.

My new book “Don’t Panic It’s Organic” is available now. Try our local bookstore or health food stores, or check out my website.

Any questions? Email me at