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Question on My Blog

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Question on My Blog

Post  melbartholomew on 6/8/2012, 5:45 pm

Wanted to see if any of you Floridians know what this lady might be experiencing with her garden:

Hi Mel, I also have problems now with termites eating my SFG boxes I bought at lowes. It has been a year since I put them in my yard here. First I put down weed barrier then the boxes and more weed barrier in the boxes then your mix. The termites have eaten into the wood but also eat my radishs, corn, strawberries and carrots just to name a few. I have found that they dont eat the onions and most of the herbs I have in one box. I also have a vinyl box I got at sams club and and had the same problem with the termites eating my veggies although they are not eating my boards as they are vinyl. I am going to try next to raise the boxes on cinder blocks to get them off the ground to see if that makes a difference. Do you have any solution for nematodes in the garden? Any advice would be helpful. Thank you!

Here's what I told her from what I know, but I need your help in filling that in and offering any other solutions:

First off, the bugs that are eating your veggies in both boxes are probably not termites - looks like you have another bug problem with those. Termites do not eat fruits and veggies typically...they prefer to eat the cellulose in the wood boxes. You could have ants in the garden or some kind of critters that are eating the rest of your plants. I would go right to your county agricultural agent for your area of Florida so he can tell you what you might be facing.

For nematodes, the common practice in Florida is to cover your boxes with clear plastic in the summer and bake the devil out of them. The heat will kill the nematodes so you can grow in the boxes starting in the fall. It's not fool proof and the only other way is to start brand new with a new box and new soil. Usually they won't bother a Square Foot Garden unless there's easy contact with the native soil.

I would take 1 or 2 of your boxes as an experiment. Put on a plywood bottom and raise it off the ground like you have with your cinderblocks. See what happens then. You may also have an ant problem, which you can solve by putting the corners of your boxes in tubs of water - generally ants can't climb up there.

Mel Bartholomew
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Re: Question on My Blog

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/8/2012, 6:04 pm

Hi Mel Very Happy we are not from FL but here is a link that has a few other threads on termites and such from other members Very Happy


hope that helps and WELCOME to the forum! Very Happy



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Re: Question on My Blog

Post  cheyannarach on 6/8/2012, 6:11 pm

Hi Mel, noticed it was your first post so to the forum! I just wanted to say what a great idea about putting the legs in water, I never would have thought of that. Amazing the things you learn on here. Hope someone else with a little more pest experience can help!

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Re: Question on My Blog

Post  littlejo on 6/8/2012, 7:09 pm

Hi Mel

I'm in SC but I had root-knot nematodes in 1 bed last yr. Green beans draw them! My extension service said to plant marigolds til they bloom, then chop them into the soil, then do the solorazation over the whole bed, and do not plant gr. beans in the bed for at least 3 years.

As for the termites, yes they do eat veggies! Thank the good lord I've never had them in the garden. Have no idea what to do for them, but have a couple links for you to look at.



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Re: Question on My Blog

Post  givvmistamps on 6/8/2012, 7:55 pm

Hi Mel,

I would definitely encourage this person to raise the beds up on concrete or other blocks or bricks, so the termites will leave it alone. Concrete pads for our houses is part of how we defend our homes, so it should be a good way to help keep them out of gardens too. I'd encourage them to ensure it's quite solid & sturdy though, since hurricane season storms will knock over table top gardens not properly anchored.

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Re: Question on My Blog

Post  camprn on 6/8/2012, 8:32 pm

MEL!!! A BIG SFG to the Forum! So glad to have you here!

Sadly, I don't know a thing about termites except I thought they ate only wood... shows how much I know... Very Happy

So after doing a little bit of research, it seems to me the best thing your reader may choose to do is contact a local pest inspector/exterminator in her area. It seems that dealing with termites can be tricky, timing with treatments are critical and may not be an ideal DIY project, especially if there is a very large destructive infestation. I would worry about her house if they are so invasive into the garden.


41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau



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Re: Question on My Blog

Post  brcbedard on 6/9/2012, 2:37 am

Hi from central Fl. About 1 1/2 months ago was in ocala national forest and on the trails saw two different fallen rotten trees practically spewing termites. My husband had to tell me what they were cuz I did not know that they flew. We sat and watched one pour out for about twenty minutes. If you have a lot of woods around or fallen trees removing them may help but since they fly when young I do not know how far they travel. HTH Mary BTW both trees were pine trees but probably termites are not picky

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from Hawaii region symposium

Post  walshevak on 6/9/2012, 1:10 pm


Elizabeth City, NC
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