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Re: Foliar nematode questions

  • Subject: Re: Foliar nematode questions
  • From: "Bill Meyer" njhosta@hotmail.com
  • Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2003 17:59:35 -0400

Hi Tom,
        Cooking does work well, but if you are trying to save the hosta, the
question is --- where is the line where the nematodes die but the hosta
doesn't? I would expect it would vary with the larger plants being able to
take more heat, and it may well be that the species background would matter
too. I doubt sieboldiana would take heat as well as plantagenia. BTW, clear
plastic works better than black plastic for heating purposes. Inside a
closed car on a hot day, the air can easily get into a high enough
temperature to kill nematodes, so it should be warmer in there then out on
the street.
         As near as I've been able to figure out, they don't go very deep in
the soil, but could be down a few inches. Boiling water poured into a small
patch of soil may do the trick. Heating it in plastic will probably work on
hot enough days if it is spread thinly (2 inches or so) in the bag. If all
else fails, she could always dump it in a field. There aren't any laws
against dumping good garden soil in fields.
         If you're working with foliar nematode infested plants, water is
your worst enemy. If the plants are wet the nematodes will be out on the
surface of the leaves and on the ground around them. You will get them on
you and it will be easy to move them to other areas. Except for heat, they
are very tough little critters. Theoretically you could get them on a garden
tool, then store that tool for the winter and when you used it the next year
they'd still be alive. For starters, never work with infested plants when
they're wet.
         I don't think there is too much chance of moving them around when
things are really dry, but if they end up somewhere where they can't find a
plant to get into, they go dormant and wait. They can last a few years that
way. They could be moved around with dry soil, and are definitely moved
around with dry leaves in the fall. I think it's too late to worry if they
are in one bed but not in others, though, because you'll never stop birds,
squirrels, and other animals from running through the wet plants and
carrying them around in their fur. Once you have them in the garden, it's
near impossible to keep them from spreading. They will infest the whole
garden in a few years. Keeping the populations down by conventional methods
will be enough to prevent them from doing much harm to the plants, but only
strong and dangerous agricultural chemicals like Nemacur even have a chance
of eliminating them. Some scientists say that it is impossible to get rid of
them completely.
                                        .........Bill Meyer

> A friend has nematodes.
> 1)  So far she has dug up the infected hostas and also dug some of the
> surrounding them.  She has the black plastic bag with the soil and hostas
in it
> hopefully cooking out on a concrete street with temps of 85 degrees
outside -
> direct sun.  She hopes to at least cook the nematodes so she can dispose
> the soil somewhere - nematode free.  Will this work?  I know the temps
need to
> get up to around 120 degrees when soaking hostas in water to kill
> Most garbage companies do not want to take lots of soil.  Yard compost
> collection companies will not want infected plants and all of us want to
eliminate or
> reduce these worms.
> 2)  If a person is working in an infected area of the garden, what steps
> should be taken?
> a)  soak shoe bottoms in some bleach or something before moving to another
> part of the garden?
> b)  Soak all tools and hands in bleach.
> Where is a good place to dispose of bleach and things?
> Thanks in advance.
> Tom
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