Invisible Gardeners Special Offer (Free Ebook)

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Hi I am giving away this ebook Invisible Gardeners Special Offer. Just click on the Image or link it will take you to the special offer page. Here you can  look for the free ebook download. You can also decide … Continue reading

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Fungus Control Naturally


A Fungus Problem

listen to the radio show on this article here

Lately I have received quite a few emails from folks all having the same problem, a fungus on their (fill in the blank) plants with a few having a fungus on their trees (specifically Oak Tree).

So lets go over why plants have a fungus in the first place.

All bacteria have a purpose in life, and that is to take advantage of situations that provide them with the best opportunity to thrive. All bacteria need a host that is weak enough for them to invade and use the host sources as their own.

All Fungus require the host be deficient in trace minerals. Why?

In my past articles, I have explain how insects have evolved a system of being able to tell when a plant is low on minerals and therefore high on simple carbohydrates. All insects love simple carbohydrates as their main source of energy, but they cannot digest complex carbohydrates which is what plants are if their mineral levels are high enough.

As it turns out, the Higher the Brix, the higher the mineral level will also be and the high will be the complex carbohydrate levels, with the result of not being attractive to insects which are the second cause of disease spreading (humans are first!).

Humans love giving plants high nitrogen. Why? Blame two things- marketing and humans need for instant gratification.

I sprayed a property the other day and the customer called me up the very next day saying she did not see any immediate results. So I told her that, first off, when you first start to take vitamin pills you would not get immediate results either and also that you will also need to get a good meal as vitamin pills were never meant to take the place of proper eating habits, and that is also true for the garden.

As with humans, The Higher the Stress, the Greater the  pest or disease problem will be. It is as simple as that.

High nitrogen will cause a lot of stress to the plants. It causes them to rapidly grow at the expense of uptake of minerals. It is a fact that  high nitrogen stops plants from absorbing trace minerals especially calcium and a wide variety of exotic trace minerals which plants need in very low levels (thus trace minerals).

Funguses love these type of plants and will expand rapidly, further weakened the plants.

Another aspect of having a weakened plant is that one must look at where the seeds come from and what genetic it has. Plants grown with chemicals (even GEO) are weak by their very nature, and they cannot survive without the use of pesticides, fungicides etc. to protect them.

So it is important to buy plants and seeds that have been organically grown over the years. These plants will not get the fungus, and will provide you, in turn, with the  minerals you need.

Do not believe it when folks tell you that there is no difference between how plants are grown and their nutritional value. That is marketing at its worst!, catering to the powerful companies desire for profits.

Bottom line is that if you have a plant or tree that  has a fungus, you have a stressed out plant and you need to find the stress, deal with it and then proceed. If you do not, you will not solve the problem. With vegetables, it is easy: buy organic. With trees, you need to pay attention to what you are feeding, or as in this case, what you are not feeding it.

Andy Lopez

Invisible Gardener

Any questions? Email me andy@invisiblegardener.com or leave a reply below.

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Ocean of Love (the Video)


Here is the video of my latest song “Ocean of Love”

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Native Bees


Native Bees

Many folks around the USA are concerned about and are watching the Honey Bees. They are wondering why they are dying off (colony collapse ) and what will pollinate their crops? Yes, Honey Bees have been our main pollinators but they are not the only pollinators around. Honey Bees didn’t make it to here until the early 1600’s, so what happened to flowers before then?

Enter Native Bees.

There are apprx. 4,000 species of Native Bees in the USA alone. They range in color from dark brown or black to metallic green or blue, some have stripes. Many have  common names that describe the way they build nests: plasterer bees, leafcutter bees, mason bees, wool carder bees, digger bees, carpenter bees.

Others are named after certain traits, such as cuckoo bees that lay eggs in the nests of other bee species (like the cuckoo bird), sweat bees that like to drink salty perspiration, or bumble bees, who got their name from the loud humming noise they make while flying.

They have been doing the job of pollination for a long time and they only need for us to be a bit more careful in our use of pesticides, chemicals fertilizers, etc. all of which harm and or kill them; including the chemicals we spray on the cut flowers and we must also include GEO products. GEO is by the way, in my opinion why bees are dying in large amounts.

We must not only provide a natural clean environment for these natives bees but we must also provide for them plants that they can pollinate as well. They do not need a bee hive because they make their own homes and are completely invisible to most humans. You would be surprised where you can find these native bees, especially around the city. City living for native bees is not an easy task since they get all types of pollution, and their homes are constantly being destroyed.

We are lucky that we live in a country environment and that we can easily provide native bees a safe place to live in. Farmers should learn how to incorporate native bees into their farming methods.. It works much better if they are organic farmers, but a conventional farmer can have native bees, they just have to not use chemicals and learn to control the conditions that cause pests and diseases.

Cities should become  leaders in Native Bees and instead of allowing folks to have just bee hives (thats ok too) they should encourage folks to plant more flowers plants and host plants so that it encourages native bees to stay in our beautiful Malibu. You can actually have both European Honey Bees (we do so love Honey!) as well as Native Bees. Both can live together  without any problems. The native bees do not need you to do anything special, just make sure you have enough variety of flowers for them, and do not use any chemicals at all. Native Bees are perfect for vegetable gardens as well as for fruit trees. They will happily live off what ever water source is available for them. They love the fog, since that is a great source of water for them, too. They usually do not sing or bite so that is another plus. Next time you see a Big  Fuzzy Black and Yellow  California Bumblebee , leave it alone and watch it work its magic. Even better if you see more then one, that means your place has been found to be good for them! You are Lucky!

Andy Lopez

Invisible Gardener

Any questions? Email me andy@invisiblegardener.com

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In Love with You 329.628 Hz Song with Video


enjoy my latest song and video!

The song is available on my Music Store and also on Sound Cloud

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Serious Questions from Reader


Listen to Radio show on this article here

Serious questions:

If homeowners continue to pull out grass and replace it with pebbles, rocks and mulch, plus some natives,won’t the area become hotter, because of removal of the greenery surrounding homes which act as nature’s coolant?

Also, scaffolding trees was touted in a recent article in the Star (I believe) as a method of reducing water needs by trees, but can trees survive such drastic cutting in height without being more subject to diseases?

Susie T

I don’t live in Malibu but I read your column.

Hi Susie,

You are correct on both counts.

First off, many, or I would say almost everyone, have the wrong idea about lawns. It is true that folks with lawns over water their lawns (they also over  water every thing else too), but you can have a low water use lawn. Your lawn doesn’t have to be the main water use on your property. A lot depends on the  type of soil you have and the type of grass you grow. The newer types of lawns are really water hogs but they too can be trained to do well on less water if folks (gardeners especially) were taught some basic cultural practices that will allow them to reduce 25% of their lawns water use. There is no reason why you cannot plant native grasses with the knowledge of what type(s) to plant. I would plant a variety of native grass ,mixed, to allow the lawn to be green year round as some natives go to sleep during harsh dry times or cold weather. Here in Malibu, our winters are mild enough to allow a variety of native grass to continue (really warm this last winter, huh).

Without our lawns, you will be hotter and what about the trees that are that lawn area? What will happen to them if their source of water is removed and replaced with natives that require very little water? You will kill the tree. Trees are very important against global warming. We need more trees, not less.

Also, scaffolding trees is a very bad idea. Shows that many folks do not know what they are talking about. It not only reduces the water the trees get, it also increases diseases and pests, because the tree is in a weakened state. You would be too, if your main source of energy is removed, and then you had far less water. Remember, they no longer have ground water to reach into.

It would be far better to let a professional take a look at your water use, see where it is being wasted and correct the problem. You can have a lawn, trees , everything you have now , simply by not over reacting , by looking first for water leaks. Sprinklers break on a regular bases and that is a main source of water waste with home owners. So have your gardener turn on the system once a month and look for leaks and repair them.

Here is a simple way to reduce your water yourself. Go to the timer. Look for “Seasonal adjustment button “ on the timer. Most have that. Reduce it over all by 10%. Thats it! You now have reduced your water use by 10%.

Tell the gardener to look out for any stressed plants due to the water change. No problems? Wait a few months to see if temp raise, especially during summer and fall ( fall being the hottest in Malibu), if no problems arise reduce it another 10%. Now you are using 20% less water.

Andy Lopez

Invisible Gardener

Any questions? Email me andy@invisiblegardener.com

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No Difference between Organic Food and Chemically Grown Food? Part 2


Listen to this article on my radio show: Invisible Gardener Radio

No Difference between Organic Food and Chemically  Grown Food? Part 2

Last week, I wrote about a recent study that concluded that there is no difference between Organically Grown Food and Conventionally Grown Food, here is part 2.

This “study” looked at around 300 “studies”. It should be mentioned that these “studies” where mostly studies of other studies and that very few actually grew anything themselves.  Those that did grow the food themselves, were flawed (in my opinion).

Here’s why-

First off, the studies that did grow their own. These researchers were not farmers, let alone organic farmers. They assumed that by merely picking a plot, dividing it up into two sections, one organic and one conventional: and then buying plants from one source, and then growing them according to each system.

Sounds simple right?

Wrong!

Problem #1

The Plants. Perhaps someone should have told them that there is a big difference between plants grown via different systems and that the plants they bought in the nursery were not the same quality plants that you get when you start them from organic heirloom seeds that plants have been grown organically for centuries. These plants will act differently if grown in dead soil, and will not get any nutrients from these types of soil. Same is true for the chemically grown plants. They will start off weak and will never get the proper nutrients and therefore will not show any nutrients difference, other then what was given to them.

Problem #2

The soil. If these researchers did not amend the soil with compost , the food grown in it will be different then the food grown in a living soil environment.

Lets say the soil was in good shape, lets say that they picked a piece of land that has plenty of good rich soil. If they planted in that, then the results of both will almost be the same, they both will have what ever nutrients are in the soil (actually the organic side will be able to uptake more of the nutrients then the conventional side) but lets assume that they just planted in each plot, gave one side chemical fertilizers, etc ., and the other side organic fertilizers , etc.. The results will favor the conventional side because on the organic side, organic seeds or organic plants where not used (after all there really is no different between organic seed and conventional seed now is there?).

In the organic system, one practices sustainability while on the conventional side one cannot be sustainable . In the conventional method, soil depletion is a big factor in diminishing food quality and farmers have to use more chemicals and do more damage to the soil then if they were organic which is sustainable and one can grow more and more and better quality food while doing less and less damage to the environment.

Problem #3

None of the studies mention GMO(GEO) foods. Most conventional farmers are using more and more GEO foods while organic farmers cannot use GEO if they want to be certified organic. We were never meant to eat Round Up , 24-d or whatever pesticide. Simple as that.

Yes, I feel that Organic farmers are keeping prices higher then they should be, but as the public wants more organic food, these prices will go down because a good organic farmer can compete with conventional farmers in prices,  just look at Death Smith Valley (over 40 organic acres).

Want to do a proper study? Grow each method for 10 years. Get real farmers on both sides. We will see then.

Andy Lopez

Invisible Gardener

Any questions? Email andy@invisiblegardener.com

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