Ask a Question forum: Root-knot nematodes??? Please help

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Austin, Texas
Sarahschw
Jun 8, 2017 5:16 PM CST
I have a raised garden bed that I rent from my apartment complex. I have cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and beans. Everything was going great until my cherry tomato plant mysteriously started to go downhill. The plant had become spindly, green fruit has been dropping off. I planted another normal tomato plant near it and it wouldn't grow and began to die off too. I finally pulled it out and saw swollen roots like in the picture. I've taken plant pathology classes before and it looks like root-knot nematodes to me. Can I get a second opinion on this?
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jun 8, 2017 5:46 PM CST
Welcome!

It looks suspiciously like root-knot nematodes. You could get confirmation from your local Extension office although I'm not sure what else it could be.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jun 8, 2017 6:09 PM CST
I shure as heck, dont know what else it could be. They sell liquid thats suppose to kill nematoes.
But, i do an old timers remedy, like my daddy did. One tablespoon of sugar in hole, before you plant.
It works. Theres even scientific work thats been done, to prove it.
Goggle question.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jun 8, 2017 6:15 PM CST
Nothing kills nematodes - they can stay dormant in the soil for years.

Lucily, there are nematode resistant tomatoes. Here's a list:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/di...
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Jun 8, 2017 6:26 PM CST
https://www.greenharvest.com.a...

I thought depending on the type that there were beneficial nematodes to buy that kill the unwanted ones?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jun 8, 2017 7:35 PM CST
The good nemotodes that kill the bad nemotodes are touchy and hard to keep alive. The good nemotodes require a high moisture, nutrient rich, humusy soil to survive. The good news is that the bad nemotodes hate those conditions so if you add a LOT of humus and over-water, you will kill the bad nemotodes anyway (they like dry, sandy soil).

The problem is that you never get rid of all the nemotodes, you control them. So, plant nemotode resistant plants.

I have friends in California who own a fruit tree nursery. When they buy new property, they research it back to the beginning of records. If it EVER had tomatoes planted on it, they won't buy it.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 8, 2017 8:50 PM CST
did a google image search of tomato roots, definitely nematodes. I would put them in your trash for take out, don't put in compost. Then plant new plants in a different location altogether. You can kill them back considerably by covering the area w a few layers of heavy black plastic and leaving it in the hot sun for a couple weeks. (the link I added in post above gives methods for control)

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