Root-Knot Nematodes, Carrot – How to control

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Root-Knot

Nematodes

Description: So-called “eel-worms” are only 1/50″ long,

with thin, translucent bodies. Over 990 species of plant-attacking

nematodes are known. Occurring naturally in large numbers

throughout the U.S., especially in the Southeast, they

plague vegetables, ornamental plants and trees. Infested

plants are usually stunted, lighter in color, and lower

in yield than healthy plants. Roots have swellings,

galls, or knots in which the nematodes live. They rob

the plant of food and make root crops such as carrots

unsightly or completely unusable. On a warm day infested

plants wilt severely. If your plants are sickly, bearing

poorly, wilting, or have died for no apparent reason,

look at their roots.

Solution: Surprisingly,

Beneficial Sf Nematodes provide excellent

control of root-knot nematodes. Cultural practices are

also important. Soil rich in organic matter is a favorable

environment for fungi, some of which control plant-attacking

nematodes, so maintain a high humus content in garden

soil. An annual program of tilling under organic matter

and growing a cover crop (especially Winter Rye) for spring turnover is

important. (Root-knot nematodes enter the roots of rye

and are trapped and destroyed when the rye is turned

under. Also, when the rye is turned under, a substance

toxic to nematodes is produced.)

 


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