The Q&A Archives: How to control nematodes

Question: What do you recommend to get rid of nematodes in the soil? I've heard of using black plastic cover to raise the temp and cook them out. Can you give details on this method and any other ways to be rid of these pests?

Answer: Solarization is the method you are referring to. It requires laying down clear plastic (not black) at the beginning of the season over wetted soil. The plastic must be sealed completely all around by burying the edges and laying bricks (or other weights) and a continuous heavy pile of soil around the edge. This process takes 3 to 6 months, depending on your climate and how much sunshine it gets. A good follow-up practice is growing a crop of winter rye, mowing it, and tilling it under. This process will destroy nematodes, soil borne diseases, and most weed seeds.

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