Ask a Question forum: Root knot nematode resistant tomato

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Seanrook TX 77586
PatrickWill
Apr 12, 2018 5:27 PM CST
I have a severe root knot nematode problem. This requires me to grow nematode resistant tomatoes to have any chance of producing. To complicate matters, I live on the TX Gulf coast near Galveston bay. Our spring tomatoe growing season ends in mid June when the temperatures start reaching the high 80s to mid 90s. I prefer to grow indeterminate varieties and have grown the "Champion II" for the last couple of years, with reasonably good results. I am currently trying " Ultimate Opener" for the first time, along side the proven Champion II. Can any one recommend a short season, indeterminate, nematode resistant variety which I could try next ? Thank you for any advise.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 12, 2018 7:35 PM CST
Welcome!

Check with Totally Tomatoes. If you can't find anything in their catalog, it doesn't exist.

https://www.totallytomato.com
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

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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Apr 13, 2018 10:02 AM CST
Hi there Patrick πŸ˜€
My dad taught me a little secret.
When you plant your tomatoes.
Put one tablespoon of sugar in hole first. It takes care of nematodes.
I don't know why.
But, It works.

Have a GREAT DAY πŸ‘
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 13, 2018 10:15 AM CST
If you plant French Marigold/Tagetes patula it will/might help reduce the population of the nematodes.

Adding sugar I think encourages beneficial microorganisms that...I have no clue, but they do something to help reduce the problem with nedmatodes.

As far as tomato varieties, I just buy whichever seeds have the most letters after the name. Since I live in Georgia I use Walter Reeves as one source of information. Here is a link to show the letters and what they mean.
http://www.walterreeves.com/ga...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Seanrook TX 77586
PatrickWill
Apr 13, 2018 7:07 PM CST
Thank you for the sugar advice. I will definitely try this. I have been battling this issue for quite a while and trying several varieties in attempt to find one which performs best. Last fall I planted Champion II , Celebrity, and Bettet Boy. When I pulled the old plants out, inspection of the roots showed a dramatic reduction of nematode infection on the Champion II roots. They also stayed much healthier than the other varieties. This was also my first time to use the product "Mykos". Being the first use, I cant really say how much effect it had, but it certainly did not hurt the nematode issue. Possibly combining the sugar with the Mykos micro organisms will be the ticket. Thanks again for the advise.
Seanrook TX 77586
PatrickWill
Apr 21, 2018 4:57 PM CST
I have been searching for further information / supporting documentation for the use of sugar as a nematode deterrent. It's not that I question the validity of the recommendation, but I am an engineer, I can't help but research things to the max. What I keep finding is information on the use of agricultural molasses. This seems to substantiate and validate the use of sugar. The molasses is high in sugar and also provides other desirable nutrients. There are documents which recommend the use of molasses to control nematodes. Can any comment on the use of molasses for gardening ?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 21, 2018 6:58 PM CST
Hi Patrick,

I understand your dilemma with the sugar and nemotode thing. If I can't find it in some research someplace, I don't bother to try it. In this case, if adding sugar to the planting hole was the cure all, there wouldn't be so many nemotodes in the world.

As far as I know, to combat nemotodes, you plant resistant plants or you allow the ground to remain fallow for enough years that the nemotodes starve to death or you introduce something like beneficial nemotodes to eat the root knot nemotodes.

In the fall, after you pull your garden (and after growing nemotode resistant plants), tilling deeply and exposing the nemotodes to sun will kill them but, once again, a multi-year project.

Sorry!
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

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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Apr 22, 2018 9:05 AM CST
Patrick πŸ˜€
A year of so ago, I mentioned to a fellow member the sugar thing, for nematodes in garden, my daddy taught me.
Wow ! BOY, OH BOY !### I got JUMPED, by several members. One even told me I was going to poison myself. HogWash, I'm still alive today ! Hilarious! nodding Whistling

So one day, just for kicks ! I Googled sugar for nematodes. Had no problem finding answer. Some "studies" sad it works, and of course, some "studies" said it Didn't.
There was no mentioning of it turning to poison.

I also read about using molasses for nematodes. Of course that makes since ! πŸ˜€ ! Molasses/Sugar, one is by-product of the other.

I believe !?!? the "All things gardening" site has an article about using sugar in the garden.
It's also a good resource for garden information.

Best to you friend πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ˜Ž
😎😎😎

Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 22, 2018 10:05 AM CST
Patrick, are you also solarizing your soil where the tomatoes grow, through the hot summer months?

We grow tomatoes in raised beds at our school garden, and had a big problem until we started just tilling, and covering the beds with greenhouse grade plastic for the summer. Since then we can grow any tomato and have not seen any more root knots when we pull them out at the end of school.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Seanrook TX 77586
PatrickWill
Apr 24, 2018 5:31 PM CST
Thanks everyone for your comments. I have solarized and used beneficial parasitic nematodes. Both helped, but were short term. I will say, solar sterilizing had the most dramatic results, but is a great deal of work in a 40ft x 75ft area. This may be my best option, but I have not given up looking for an alternative control method.
I found information for a product called ProMax. It claims to be an Organic biopesticide, with no negative side effects. It also claims to eliminate nematodes and many other soil dwelling problems. The problem is, it appears to be a commercially available product only, which can only be purchased in large quantities. Does anyone have further information on this product. See below for the link.
humagro.com/promax3
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Apr 24, 2018 6:10 PM CST
Patrick-- Root Knot Nematodes are a problem, but throwing too many products at once does not help. They can counteract with each other. Nematodes are more successful in sandy soils. Chunky is best, meaning where you are going to plant next year start conditioning the soil. Nothing can be left in the ground where you garden. Anything with roots is a safe haven for Nematodes.
As soon as you pull up plants, start burying all fresh fruit and vegetable waste, egg shells, coffee, etc. Sometimes I buy a watermelon weekly and immediately bury the rinds. I have gone back the next week to add more to it, it is so hot in Texas the previous weeks waste is gone. You want to add more organic material to your soil, it slows Nematodes movement. You can buy a good brand of garden soil. I leave my bags out in the sun to kill anything that could be in that soil. Dig the hole and use the new soil to fill in around Tomatoes that slows Nematodes. If that is too expensive make your own soil, solarize it and put that in the hole. Sugar or molasses, too.

Make Alfalfa tea using a recipe with molasses. It is pretty inexpensive and water with it even when there is nothing growing there. Sugar or molasses stimulate beneficial microorganisms. If you want to rot a stump pour some milk over it and then pour sugar over it. Sugar is a game changer in a garden for microb activity.

May you be blessed with success!
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Apr 26, 2018 1:35 PM CST
Yeah, Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Sharon ! πŸ‘πŸ‘
Some people are starting to belive my o'l wife's tale ! But, In this case !!!
My o'l Dad's tale ! πŸ‘πŸ˜€
That, a tablespoon of sugar in a plant hole before planting controls nematodes. πŸ‘ Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Seanrook TX 77586
PatrickWill
Apr 28, 2018 5:55 AM CST
Thank you Sharon, for the sandy soil information. This may be the explanation for my dramatic increase in nematode problems. My soil was black clay "gumbo", which is like concrete when it's dry and glue when wet. I have been conditioning it with organic materials for 10 years, and had finally reached a reasonably good texture. It still would pack down and form a hard crust surface, but was producing extremely well and could be tilled relatively easy. Two years back, I added 8 yds of sharp sand, which made the soil texture perfect. Now that I think back, my nematode issues have steadily becoming worse. I am going to take everyone's advice and solarize this summer and then apply your alfalfa/sugar treatment. Maybe less is more after all.

Dkgreer
Jun 27, 2018 4:08 AM CST
Sorry, I am jumping in on this thread late. My name is Doug Greer and I am the Sales Director for Huma Gro. We manufacture Promax. Promax is an OMRI listed nematicide. Please email me at doug@humagro.com and I would be happy to help answer any questions you have about the product. You can also visit our website at Humagro.com. Thanks

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