The Q&A Archives: Wireworms

Question: When we moved last Noverber, we left our rhubarb at the other house, now we have a place for it we think! It will be in an old cow pasture that has not been used by the cows for 10 or more years. Should it be alright there? Also when we planted things like carrots and root veggies, they got what my neighbor said is wire worms. What is it, and what do we do to get rid of them??

Answer: You should be able to plant in the cow pasture. You may still need to improve the soil, however. Wireworms are the larval stage of the a click beetle. Wireworms can tunnel through root crops in late summer. They might also eat seeds or chew off seedlings right below soil level. They are usually found in grasslands that have been recently dug. When soil is cultivated for several years, their numbers greatly reduce. Dig root crops as soon as they are mature. Rotate crops every season. Good soil drainage and shallow cultivation for weeds may help control them. Finally, insecticide-treated seed can be sown. It sounds as if you put in a new garden. After it's been established a few years, the problem should decline. Good luck!

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