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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Nematode Challenge

I have a huge, huge pot of soil that is severely infected with root knot nematode. I have seen my tomatoes and basil suffer through it, and even though they are both still alive and doing their best for me, I have to do the tough part: kill them off. It's mercy for them as they have been suffering for so long.

Here are the things that I plan to do:

Clean-up

I have to remove all the roots, all the plants, and everything in the soil that screams nematode. If a single root stays in, there is still a place for the nematodes to grow and proliferate. On that note, no parsley, basil, tomatoes, and peppers in that pot.

Green manure

I do not have access to compost or anything like that, so the next best thing will be green manure. I just planted several marigolds in the pot, and I have tilled in a couple of them in the soil recently. Also, I took out several stems of oregano and incorporated them in the soil as well. Both are known to be resistant to nematodes, with marigolds famed for secreting chemicals through their roots that kill off these buggers.



Plant resistant types

Of all the plants that I've grown in this pot, only one thrived so well: chives. I wanted the chives for the pest control and flavor that it will give to my tomatoes. I never thought that such a plant will be so resistant to nematodes. I am also planing on going hunting for Philippine Oregano. I had two flower boxes that were homes to oregano since 2010 up to early this year. The soil smelled like oregano, and I have observed that the roots of my tomatoes and peppers in these pots were opaque, slim, even, and smooth. This type of oregano grow like weeds in almost anywhere, so getting one will not be a problem for me.

NO to plant hosts

Host plants mean more food for nematodes, and sadly, these plants are my favorites: tomatoes, peppers, and basil. So none of those plants in the pot for a year or two until the soil is fully cured of the parasites.

Plan is already in action, so I am hoping that I have enough patience to push this through for an entire year.

Wish me luck

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