in amongst the veggies
have a problem with wireworm in my vegetable garden this year. Can
you offer any solutions?
are also known as nematodes or eelworm. They are minute thread-like
worms which are very hard to see and get rid of. Some nematodes
are quite useful in decomposing organic material, others attack
plant roots, reducing plant vigour and causing wilting and large
swellings (or galls) to form on the roots.
Commercial growers use
quite toxic sprays and soil sterilants to control nematode infestations
which are not available to the home gardener. Here are a few suggestions
that may help.
Remove infected plants,
including fallen leaves, and destroy by burning or throwing in the
rubbish bin. Do not recycle infected plant material in the compost
heap. Leave the soil completely free of plants (and weeds) from
spring through to autumn, which should reduce the nematode population.
Avoid planting the area with similar vegetable varieties that may
also be susceptible. Before planting, treat the soil with a soil
sterilant such as Basamid. This is available from garden centres
and hardware stores. Read and follow the instructions on the packet
with care. Basamid works by releasing sterilising gas into the soil,
so moisture needs to be present.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH