Its been a while since I’ve written anything about my farming and that’s because I’ve had a hell of a summer. And not in a good way. I lost 90% of my tomato crops to root nematodes. (Its been so bad I’ve been having NIGHTMARES about the damn buggers)
Don’t fret too horribly, (I’ve done enough for all of us) there is a way to combat them safely, without killing the natural ecosystem in the process.
Neem oil, Neem cake, Molasses, clean water, colloidal silver and beneficial nematodes are some of the first lines of defense in combating these nasty little plant perverts.
Root nematodes are a product of warm moist soil and lack of beneficial bacteria. So in short, I’ve got ‘sick soil’. The life force and immune system of my soil and plants have been comprised.
What does this mean for plants? Well plants, (Flora) have an immune system similar to animals (fauna). Imagine the plant as a human body, the soil is its life blood. If it has an infection, its going to spread to the entire plant. and the surrounding soil.
What does a sick plant look like?There is yellowing of the leaves, stretching in the plant and crap for flower and fruit production. One of the earliest signs is a slow uptake in fluids, slow growth, and in young plants. Death.
“Three Basic Types of Harmful Nematodes*
- Nematodes on the outside of the roots
These nematodes eat the roots of your plants. You cannot easily tell they are there except by the plant getting sick or dying.
- Root Knot nematodes
These small worms get into the roots of plants. They then interfere with the proper functioning of the roots which either weakens or kills the plant. It is very hard to tell if they are in your plants without digging up the roots and looking at the hard little knotson those roots.
- Nematodes in the stem or leaves
Some of these nematodes get into your plant and stay in one place; others move around the plant causing damage as they go. It is very hard to tell they are there even after the plant is dead.”
How to combat nematodes.
- Clean all plant matter and other debris from the area to be solarized.
- Place two layers of clear plastic over the soil.
- Between the layers of plastic, place a divider such as a 1″ plastic pipe.
- Seal the edges of the plastic with soil.
- Let the sun beat down on the plastic and soil for a couple of months.
- After a couple of months remove the plastic and enjoy growing plants in the nematode free soil.