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Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

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Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  dstack on 5/17/2015, 10:24 pm

Today I ripped the nematode infected nightshades and companions out of this bed to solarize it for the next six weeks.  I can't wait to start fresh!  



Next weekend I'll do the same with the next bed. Then the third bed the following weekend.  It's time to cook some root knot nematodes!  
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  Roseinarosecity on 5/19/2015, 10:38 am

Did you add any organic matter prior to covering it?  If you did, what did you add?

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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  dstack on 5/19/2015, 10:41 am

@Roseinarosecity wrote:Did you add any organic matter prior to covering it?  If you did, what did you add?
It's better to add fresh compost after solarizing to help the good microbes regenerate.
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  Roseinarosecity on 5/19/2015, 11:34 pm

I didn't want to take any chances, so I added all my organic material prior to solarizing.  The next planting was going to be brassicas in the fall.  These don't need the mycorrhizal that other veggies need.

Be careful what you add after you have solarized.  You want to make sure you are not returning the bad nematodes all over again.  

I wish you lots of sunshine so that your solarizing is successful.  Is there anyway you can monitor the temperature under the plastic, maybe not this bed, but maybe the next bed?

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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  dstack on 5/20/2015, 5:49 am

@Roseinarosecity wrote:Is there anyway you can monitor the temperature under the plastic, maybe not this bed, but maybe the next bed?
I've thought about using my compost thermometer in there, but I don't want to contaminate that.  I have a smaller meat thermometer that I use to use in the compost that I may stick in there in the evening.
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  martha on 5/20/2015, 8:08 am

Rose, I think a lot of the good stuff will get killed during the solarizing process?
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  dstack on 5/20/2015, 9:16 am

@martha wrote:Rose, I think a lot of the good stuff will get killed during the solarizing process?
I agree.  But since Rose already did it, the good news is that the good microbes are known to regenerate, while the nematodes will not.  I prefer to help speed up that regeneration by adding fresh compost after solarization.   Very Happy
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sanitizing earthworms

Post  dstack on 5/20/2015, 9:29 am

I hated that I had quite a few earthworms in this bed.  I wonder if there's something I could safely dip the worms in to sanitize them.  I could at least use them in my ground landscape beds.  It's too late for the worms in this bed, but this coming weekend I'll be prepping a bed with purchased worms.
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  Roseinarosecity on 5/20/2015, 10:48 am

Yup, good and bad 'stuff' both got killed but afterwards I had a phenomenal brassica growth and then in the summer I had a fantastic production of tomatoes.  That's what you have to look forward to.

Don't worry about the earthworms; they will move downward away from the heat.  Hopefully, you don't have a weed barrier at the base of your raised beds.

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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  dstack on 5/20/2015, 11:32 am

@Roseinarosecity wrote:... Don't worry about the earthworms; they will move downward away from the heat.  Hopefully, you don't have a weed barrier at the base of your raised beds.
My table top bed have plywood bottoms.  They'll be trapped.  No
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  Roseinarosecity on 5/22/2015, 1:22 am

Wait, your table-top also has nematodes?  How do you think they got there?  Your tools? Cross-contamination with the other soils?

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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  sanderson on 5/22/2015, 2:11 am

@dstack wrote:My table top bed have plywood bottoms.  They'll be trapped.  No
All of my beds are table tops, now. That's the bad thing about TTs, the worms have no where to go so I am stuck feeding them and making sure there is enough moisture year around. Shocked

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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  dstack on 5/22/2015, 6:00 am

@Roseinarosecity wrote:Wait, your table-top also has nematodes?  How do you think they got there?  Your tools? Cross-contamination with the other soils?
I have separate trowels for each bed so I'm not spreading contamination.  I've become OCD about sanitation of tools and hands.  I never transplant from one bed to another.   Even though my garden cats Mo and Kiki are rarely seen in the boxes, I know they get in.  I used Sanderson's advice on building them a sand box as their alternative.  All it takes is one time with contaminated paws.  Getting rid of our babies is not an option.  Occasionally we have raccoons getting in and digging around too.  

It's not a big deal to me anymore. I just expect to solarize this time of year every year.  That along with crop rotation and improving the soil with rich, organic matter makes the soil less attractive to them. I don't let it upset me anymore nearly as much because I'm getting better at managing them, and working around infections.

Plus,  I'm trying some RKN resistant varieties, and even going to try grafting onto these varieties.
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  martha on 5/23/2015, 8:10 am

David, you are an inspiration to me! When I read your posts, I think, "I want to be that gardener!"

Question - how do the worms get into the TT beds?
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  dstack on 5/23/2015, 9:13 am

@martha wrote:David, you are an inspiration to me! When I read your posts, I think, "I want to be that gardener!"

Question - how do the worms get into the TT beds?
You are so sweet Martha!  Thank you!  There are a couple of ways: Even though I'm very much into composting, I never have enough of my homemade compost.  And for a while the compost that I was buying came with a lot of these earthworms.  Secondly, the bed that I'm going to start solarizing this weekend has worms that MJ bought for me for Christmas.  

So I think I may know what I'll do as I find these little guys.  It's too late for the bed that's baking in the sun now, but here's the plan moving forward:

The nematodologist professor at UF was so emphatic that if nematodes cannot find a host root within four weeks, they will die.  So I'll get a bucket and put some of the newly bought compost (same brand that occasionally has worms).  As I find worms I'll rinse them off and put them in my compost bucket.  Since the professor was so sure about that, I'm going to let those worms live in that compost bucket for at least 4 weeks, and perhaps 6 to be sure.  The the compost with worms should be good to use either in the beds or in my landscape.   Very Happy


Last edited by dstack on 5/23/2015, 9:14 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : formatting issue)
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  littlejo on 5/24/2015, 5:48 pm

dstack
I had RKN the first yr. of SFG. My beds are on the ground, so solarizing doesn't do much good. They just move away from heat, then soon return. I tried planting marigolds, then turning them under. But, it halfway works and it is lots of work.
Everywhere I went I asked what could I do. Well, I was told(by a friend at a very expensive flower shop) Plant mustard, eat some if you like, cut off and go ahead and plant what you will. Mustard roots put off a chemical that nematodes don't like, so they move on. I bought a lb. of cheap mustard seed and planted all my beds, even put some in the isles. Since doing this I've had no more RKN.
You cannot eat Mustard except in winter here, for it gets very hot. It will re-seed itself and will attract bees when/if you allow it to bloom.
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  martha on 5/24/2015, 8:14 pm

That's right - now that you mention it, I do remember you getting worms for Christmas! What a great gift!
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  dstack on 5/24/2015, 8:44 pm

@littlejo wrote:dstack
I had RKN the first yr. of SFG. My beds are on the ground, so solarizing doesn't do much good. They just move away from heat, then soon return. I tried planting marigolds, then turning them under. But, it halfway works and it is lots of work.
Everywhere I went I asked what could I do. Well, I was told(by a friend at a very expensive flower shop) Plant mustard, eat some if you like, cut off and go ahead and plant what you will. Mustard roots put off a chemical that nematodes don't like, so they move on. I bought a lb. of cheap mustard seed and planted all my beds, even put some in the isles. Since doing this I've had no more RKN.
You cannot eat Mustard except in winter here, for it gets very hot. It will re-seed itself and will attract bees when/if you allow it to bloom.
Jo

littlejo, I remember reading about mustard greens killing nematodes, and so I tried it a couple months ago into the nightshade bed that was super infested with RKNs.  But I got a huge surprise when I putted everything out of that bed last weekend.  The strain of RKNs that I have LOVE the mustard that I planted, more so than the nightshades.  I had the same surprise with marigolds.  Did you know some marigolds actually HOST some nematodes? So if you don't know what you're doing you could make the problem worse like I did with mustard.  I started a thread about this with an article by the University of Florida...

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t17141-myths-vs-facts-marigolds-and-root-knot-nematodes  

Basically, you're safest to go with French Marigolds.  They kill the widest range of RKN strains, but they're only effective as long as the Marigolds are alive. 

Since you have your beds on the ground I would make sure you have no weeds anywhere near your boxes that might be perpetuating the problem.  RKNs spend part of their lives traveling through the soil, but if they don't return to a host root within 4 weeks they die.  There are several things that you can do to minimize the problem like crop rotation, enriching the soil with organic matter and chitin shell fertilizer.  Also, as I'm just starting to do: use RKN resistant varieties as much as possible.
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  littlejo on 5/25/2015, 2:04 pm

I did not  know there were several strains of RKN. My extension service did not mention this, but they were not very helpful.
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  dstack on 5/25/2015, 9:33 pm

@littlejo wrote:I did not  know there were several strains of RKN. My extension service did not mention this, but they were not very helpful.
Jo
I didn't know that either until I read this report from University of Florida...
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ng045

It's too bad your extension office wasn't helpful.  I was disappointed by mine since I showed up with a nematode infested sample in a zip lock bag, and they learned that they don't test soil there anymore.  I would have to send it to a lab.  But they provided  literature about solarization.  I would be interested to get my soil tested some day to learn what strain of RKNs I have.
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Full Scale Solarization on All 3 Boxes

Post  dstack on 5/31/2015, 6:59 pm

I'm excited about my full scale reset on the boxes.  After six weeks of solarization to kill the soil parasites, and the good organisms regenerate pretty quickly after this.  Garden boxes makes it easy to wrap.  

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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  Roseinarosecity on 5/31/2015, 7:16 pm

Boy, you neatly covered those beds!

You could probably get it hotter if you used another layer of plastic over the beds.  Like this link suggests,  http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74145.html.

"For small treated areas in a small garden or on a lawn in cooler climates, it may be helpful to use a double layer of plastic with air space created by objects such as plastic bottles or PVC pipe between the layers. This has been shown to raise soil temperatures an additional 2° to 10°F over temperatures obtained with a single layer of clear plastic."

Your edge of your boxes is enough to keep the second layer up.  What kind of plastic did you use?  I used a Duck brand Window Kit with a "Crystal Clear Shrink Film."  It was 62" x 420".

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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  dstack on 5/31/2015, 8:19 pm

@Roseinarosecity wrote:Boy, you neatly covered those beds!

You could probably get it hotter if you used another layer of plastic over the beds.  Like this link suggests,  http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74145.html.

"For small treated areas in a small garden or on a lawn in cooler climates, it may be helpful to use a double layer of plastic with air space created by objects such as plastic bottles or PVC pipe between the layers. This has been shown to raise soil temperatures an additional 2° to 10°F over temperatures obtained with a single layer of clear plastic."

Your edge of your boxes is enough to keep the second layer up.  What kind of plastic did you use?  I used a Duck brand Window Kit with a "Crystal Clear Shrink Film."  It was 62" x 420".

Interesting that you brought that up because I read that a year or so ago and considered doing that. Although we have no shortage of hot sunlight here in South Florida, especially this time of year.

I got a large plastic roll from a local packaging company. The thickness is perfect for this, but don't remember the thickness number that they told me.
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Re: Time To Solarize And Kill Nematodes

Post  sanderson on 6/1/2015, 12:31 am

You've done a nice job covering and sealing.

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Passion Fruit

Post  dstack on 6/1/2015, 10:09 am

@sanderson wrote:You've done a nice job covering and sealing.

Thanks Sanderson.

BTW, I think I'll be using that double cover/tent that I learned from you (The UC Davis article above). But I'll use it just on the bed I covered yesterday as it was the worst RKN infection I have yet to see. Part of the problem is that the passion fruit was so vigorous in it's root growth (and LOTS of vines with only 3 small fruits) which took over the bed in spite of it's infection.



If you look closely you'll see knots. And I spent hours trying to get all of the infected roots out. I'm wondering if it's only necessary to get the main root clumps out, because I still have hundreds of infected roots fragments in the soil. Anyway, I would feel better about tenting this solarized bed to increase the heat by 10℉.

Now our local extension office recommends using the yellow variety of passion fruit as root stock, since it RKN resistant, and grafting the other varieties onto it. So I have the yellow variety started from seeds I bought, but after this experience I may just plant it in the ground or in a very large pot.

When I replant the beds I plan to use as much RKN resistant varieties as possible; both as grafted root stock, and as fruiting plants.

I'm happy to have this full-scale reset on my boxes. Very Happy

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