Natural nematode control methods and products that really work. Beautiful, colorful solutions for root knot and foliar plant parasitic nematodes. Neem and nematodes.
If you've got plant parasitic nematodes in your garden, the best way to reduce their populations is to add copious amounts of organic matter to the soil.
Organic fertilizers, shredded leaves, compost, manure--anything that increases humus--will exterminate nematodes in soil while feeding all the beneficial soil organisms.
It is precisely by building up the ranks of beneficial nematodes and other microorganisms that humus kills harmful nematodes.
Use grass clippings, crushed egg shells, coffee grounds, and sawdust to mulch tomatoes, potatoes, and other vulnerable crops. The fungi which will form in the mulch will trap the parasitic nematodes.
Another thing you can do to reduce the damage a parasitic nematode infestation can do to your plants is keep the soil moist. Drought conditions stress plants and make them more vulnerable to nematode worm predation.
Also, beneficial nematodes control harmful nematodes and need moisture in order to thrive. Soil that is too dry will kill them off.
The chemical pesticides which are effective against root knot nematodes are not available to the general public.
There is good reason for this.
Pesticides used for nematode control are lethal to fish, birds, and other wildlife.
Home gardeners are better off practicing crop rotation and adding large quantities of organic matter to their planting beds each season.
Nematode worm populations build when their favorite foods are planted in the same area year after year.
"Marigold, French Vanilla Hybrid 1 Pkt. (50 seeds)"
"Marigold, Fireball 1 Pkt. (50 seeds)"
During the season when your tomato plants have been rotated to another plot, plant French marigolds in the empty bed. Don't just plant a few either. Do a mass planting.
The French marigold, Tagetes patula needs to grow in the soil for at least 90 days before another crop is planted in order to be effective. Space the plants 7 inches apart for best nematode control.
The marigold plant's roots contain a substance which is toxic to root nematodes.
Vinca, Merry Go Round Red 1 Order (6 plants)
Vinca, Merry Go Round Grape 1 Order (6 plants)
Annual vinca periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus has demonstrated 95% effectiveness against root knot. As an added bonus, it is drought tolerant and will grow through the most brutal summer heat.
Tuck these pretty little impatiens look-alikes into every available spot for a beautiful predatory nematodes home treatment.
This parasitic nematode is spread when infected wet plant leaves come into contact with the wet leaves of uninfected plants.
The best and easiest way to prevent this is with proper spacing and watering practices. Avoid crowding plants together in planting beds. Leave room for air to circulate and dry the leaves after a rain.
It is also better to avoid wetting the foliage when you water the plants. Drip irrigation is best.
If you don't have a drip irrigation system, you might consider using a soaker hose. If you water with a garden hose, lay it on the ground beneath the plants instead of spraying the water onto the plants.
Under dry conditions, foliar nematodes will stay put, but they can live for several years inside dead leaves. You will need to remove all plant debris from the area in the fall.
A good inexpensive control is to spray the foliage of infected plants with insecticidal soap. Soap both sides of the leaves as well as all buds and stems. The soap will kill the nematode worms on contact but will not kill new worms that infect the plants at a later time.