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How to get rid of Root knot nematodes organically

If your plants look stunted and its leaves exhibit chlorosis and lack vigour, yet you’ve done everything right and you can’t figure out why, it’s time to check the roots of your plants. If the roots are knobbly and have galls, you have a case of root knot nematodes in your soil. I have experienced this on a few occasions, fortunately in my planters and not in-ground. Read on to find out how to control root knot nematodes organically.

What are they? These plant parasites are microscopic roundworms that damage plant roots and feed on its vascular system. This causes growths to form, affecting the plant’s capacity to absorb water and nutrients.

Shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants are susceptible to root knot nematodes. These include begonia, azalea, hibiscus, gloxinia, hydrangea, impatiens, cyclamen, coleus, some cacti, rose, and edible plants like tomato, capsicum, chilli, eggplant, rosella, okra, cucumber, pumpkin, melons, Malabar spinach, passionfruit, banana, pineapple, sweet potato among others.  

What are your natural options? Here’s how to get rid of root knot nematodes organically, you can consider using a mix of methods to improve efficacy rates.

Grow biofumigant crops for root knot nematode control

how to get rid of root knot nematodes organically
(Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels)

Brassicas such as Brassica rapa (field mustard) and Brassica juncea (mustard greens) have bio-fumigation properties and are effective at root knot nematode control when grown as a cover crop, however there are some other plants, like Tagetes patula (French marigolds), Tagetes erecta  (Mexican Marigold) and oats, which are highly capable too.

How it works is it releases compounds to suppress pests and pathogens in the soil. It is effective when in its early flowering stages, plants are chopped or pulped and incorporated into the soil and watered. The soil needs to remain moist for a few weeks, and isocyanate gases are released by the plants as it breaks down.

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Upcoming Workshop: Learn Soil Mixing Basics!

Old woman hands holding fresh soil. Symbol of spring and ecology concept

I know I’ve been a bit quiet, but hey I’m back with a collaboration with Nong by Edible Garden City in their amazing new space at Hort Park. This interactive Soil Mixing Workshop is our most popular workshop to date. If you’re looking to know more about growing healthy plants, this workshop is for you. Pssst… you get to take home the soil mixes you make, and soil mixing recipes too.

Soil Mixing Workshop

Wish to learn the basics of soil and learn to make your own seed raising mix and potting mix? There are many recipes out there, but it also depends on what you’re growing.

Hear about the variations of soil mixes and participate in this hands-on soil mixing workshop!

Date: 28th May
Time: 10.30am – 12nn
Venue: HortPark, 33 Hyderabad Rd, #01-01, Singapore 119578

What you will learn in this session:

  • Nutrient requirements of plants
  • Physical needs of plants
  • Soil amendment basics
  • How to grow healthy seedlings
  • How to mix your own seed raising mix and potting mix

What you will take home:

  • A list of seed raising mix and potting mix recipes
  • Seed raising mix sample
  • Potting mix sample

The cost is $49 per person, with limited spaces available, so booking is essential. Reserve your seat here!

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