Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Letter from a reader

Hello, I've been reading and enjoying your Rosegasms and Urban Farm blogs for awhile now and I see you've mentioned nematodes a few times. I was wondering if you had any hints to share on your blog about how to control nematodes, specifically root knot nematodes, which had the nerve to show up in my garden this year and ruin my green beans, a cantaloupe patch and a Black Krim tomato plant. Any ideas you could offer would begreatly appreciated! Regards, Kari

Hi Kari, thanks! Since the early 80s I've had quite good results in reducing nematode populations by adding LOTS of organic matter to our sandy "soil", and annually applying a light sprinkle of dolomitic limestone to control the excess acidity so common in central Florida. This encourages the growth of a natural fungus that under a microscrope looks like a teensy cowboy's lasso......when a root knot nematode passes through the "lasso" it constricts and digests the nematode!

So for years I've been able to grow straight smooth carrots and healthy crops of okra. I hope this helps. John

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much, John! Our soil is also highly acidic sand that is low in organic matter. In the past I didn't have access to much in the way of organic matter, other than my worm bin, but now I have 2 rabbits to supply me with fertilizer and a mulcher for leaves this fall. Take that, nematodes!