The Q&A Archives: Nematodes Damaging Tomatoes

Question: I am not a big tomato grower. I came from Italy and over there I grew the finest tomatoes you would ever see and eat.<br>I have a little tiny garden that is 30 by 40 feet. <br>I started it two years ago and the first year the tomatoes were fine and big and delicious. The second year was not as good. This last year was terrible. The tomatoes vines died after they grew a few feet and out of 40 plants I picked about 15 tomatoes.<br><br>I pulled out a few plants and the roots had nodules and swellings on theroots. I took them to a grower and he said it was nematodes disease. He uses some kind of gas to kill it and it is only available in large drums and only to agriculture people in the business. Can you help me?<br><br><br><br>

Answer: Your best bet is to grow nematode-resistant varieties. The most nematode resistant variety I have ever grown, here<br>in the Jacksonville area, is 'Better Boy'. 'Celebrity' and 'Big Beef' are also resistant as is a paste tomato called 'Viva Italia Hybrid'. You will find these varieties listed on pages 89-90 in Burpee's 1998 catalog. If you don't have<br>a Burpee catalog call 1-800-888-1447 and they will send <br>you a catalog. Try not to plant your tomatoes in the same spot each year.<br>By rotating your tomatoes to a different spot you can <br>avoid having tomato diseases build up in the soil.

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