How to Control Nematodes

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Nematodes are small creatures that look like worms. They can infest a garden and stunt plant growth because they feed on root systems. Garden vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and squash are susceptible to nematodes. Currently, there is no chemical that can eliminate the problem, but there are several natural remedies that can help control nematodes.

Things You'll Need

  • Marigold plants
  • Clear plastic sheeting
  • Elbon rye plants
  • Plant nematode-resistant crops like corn, onions, garlic and nematode-resistant tomatoes.

  • Remove any plants that are suffering from nematode infestation to prevent the spread of these damaging worms.

  • Once infested plants are removed, plant marigolds. Marigolds exude a chemical that is toxic to nematodes and can help rid the soil and surrounding plants of any remaining worms. Leave the marigolds in place for at least three months.

  • If your entire garden is infested, remove all of the plants and till the soil. Allow the soil to dry completely and leave your garden dormant for a full summer.

  • Cover the soil with clear plastic once the plants are removed and the soil has dried. Leave the plastic in place for six to eight weeks.

  • In the fall, plant Elbon rye grass. Rye grass is nematode resistant, and can drive the worms away.

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