The truth about plant immunity

It’s very common to hear people talk about “boosting the immunity” of plants as a way to avoid spraying. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, says Jamie Goode.

Photo by Suda Guan on Unsplash
Photo by Suda Guan on Unsplash

As the wine world becomes more aware of its environmental impact, it’s realising that the spraying needed to prevent fungal diseases is a problem. What’s the solution? One that’s often proposed has been boosting vine immunity. If we can get the vines to activate their immune system, say proponents of this theory, then they’ll become resistant and spraying won’t be needed. Healthy vines, suitably primed, can then fight off pests and diseases on their own. It’s why people talk about ‘boosting the immune system’ of plants through systems like biodynamics.  

There’s a problem here. Plants don’t work this way. 

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