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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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SFG Journey: Beneficial nematodes experiment

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Post  has55 12/14/2018, 8:38 pm

I’m going to try an experiment with my 14 vermicomposting buckets this winter. It may be the wrong time to do it, so if it fails, I will retry in the spring, but I should have some success with my 4 vermicompost buckets in the greenhouse. I have been studying how to grow my own beneficial nematodes to compost the enemies in the soil. I found these websites to be helpful though I have not tried it yet. 

 I’m going to go to the pet store and get some wax moth larvae or mealworms and placed them on top of the vermicompost to see if they get infected. I should know within 24-48 hrs because they will be dead. I will place them in with their food supply that I get from the store. If this work, the mealworm cost about 4 dollars for 250 of them or s.0-15.00 for the wax moth worm, 500 ct.
 if successful I will make a small row and bury them approx 3 inches in the soil then top it off with leaves and let those babies clean up the garden beds.
This will be the cheapest ways to get my nematodes and quickly clean up the beds from soil disease.
beneficial nematodes

SFG Journey: Beneficial nematodes experiment Img_1810
SFG Journey: Beneficial nematodes experiment Vermic11
SFG Journey: Beneficial nematodes experiment Vermic12

here's some links on rearing your own. 

https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=75677


https://youtu.be/Gg1cosZY6k0


Material & Supply Video for Rearing Nematodes
https://youtu.be/QNpNjFImrN0
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Post  OhioGardener 12/14/2018, 9:11 pm

An interesting experiment, Has55! Be sure to keep us posted. Where did you get your starter culture of nematodes?

A couple years ago in the late spring my raised beds got infested with grubs - Japanese Beetle, and Chafer Beetle - and they were destroying a lot of tender plants. I did a soil saturation with Beneficial Nematodes and in less than a month I could not find a live grub anywhere in the beds. I bought a Beneficial Nematode starter culture from a aquaponics shop and "bred" them to provide enough that I could saturate the soil of all of the beds.  The following year I repeated the process on sections of the lawn where I was seeing skunks dig for grubs, and the skunks moved to our neighbors yards.

____________________________

"In short, the soil food web feeds everything you eat and helps keep your favorite planet from getting too hot. Be nice to it."  ~ Diane Miessler, "Grow Your Soil"
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Post  has55 12/15/2018, 9:56 am

OhioGardener wrote:An interesting experiment, Has55! Be sure to keep us posted. Where did you get your starter culture of nematodes?

No starter culture. I'm hoping they are in the vermicompost. This is what the experiment is about. free nematodes. when I took my vermicompost buckets to Heather Rinaldi owner of Texas worm ranch in the spring of this year, she found beneficial nematodes using her microscope. She had taken Dr. Elaine Ingham soil food web course.
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Post  Dan in Ct 12/15/2018, 5:02 pm

has55, I was going to run an experiment with meal worms eating styrofoam last year but never got around to it. This year for sure. They sell the wax worms at Walmart and are in stock, not at my local Walmart but not too far away. 36 for $2.17. Here is a link to a Michigan State U, Rearing nematodes, Do-It-Yourself Guide.

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/rearing_nematodes_do_it_yourself_guide

Keep us posted as I have Japanese beetles, Asiatic Garden beetles and Oriental beetles. Never a major infestation, just enough to make some of the basil leaves look raggedy. I usually as a bucketeer leave a few strategically placed buckets half filled with water and many just take care of themselves.
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Post  has55 8/23/2019, 11:48 pm

Rearing nematodes: Do-it-yourself guide
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Post  has55 7/16/2020, 10:53 am

the nematode experiment never got started last year. I got hit on two of my cucumbers with root knot nematodes. So I going to add nematodes with mealybug dead bodies filled with nematodes. I found Dirt Doctor's library had a article about the USA sciencetist had already completed this experiment and they recommend this method over spraying the nematodes. ARS scientists Bob Behle, in Peoria, Illinois, and Mickey McGuire, in Shafter, California made this method.  See article below


pict of my nematodes


SFG Journey: Beneficial nematodes experiment July_110



SFG Journey: Beneficial nematodes experiment July_111










ROOT KNOT NEMATODES


Culturing beneficial nematodes

What different in their experiment from mine, they use there own raised or bought nematodes. I want to to see if there any live nematodes in my vermicompost bucket. I should be able to tell by just dropping them in the bucket. They should be dead in a few days,  i think. I have to go read that other article from a past post to see how many days before you can tell they are dead. if not, then I will buy some, infect the mealworms, then put about 250-500 in the bed It about 1000 mealworm for 16.00 at petco.
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Post  has55 7/16/2020, 5:49 pm

My wife reminded me that we don't have a root knot nematode problem in out peeps,tomatoes and melon beds.This is where we planted mustard greens for suppress nematodes. We left the cucumber bed alone.I actually forgot this experiment. We got the information from the USA SARE dept. Here's the link. Will do the beds this fall.
Brassicas and Mustards

Cultural Practices for Root-Knot and Root-Lesion Nematode Suppression in Vegetable Crop Rotations

Green Manure crops and Nematodes.
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Post  OhioGardener 7/16/2020, 6:19 pm

Don't forget the French Marigold, a beautiful companion plant that controls root nematodes.

Marigolds and root-knot nematode

____________________________

"In short, the soil food web feeds everything you eat and helps keep your favorite planet from getting too hot. Be nice to it."  ~ Diane Miessler, "Grow Your Soil"
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Post  has55 7/23/2020, 6:07 am

.Does anyone know of a way I can make holes in the soil about 2 to 3 inch deep, this way I can easily drop the wax meal worms into the hole, then filled it with mulch. I don’t know if there’s a tool out there or some design I can put together that would be possibly 12 inches long, maybe 4-12 inches wide. 
Maybe  something  that can make onion slip holes., which is a great depth and diameter to slip those meal worm carcasses into the hole. I can use my fingers because the soil is so soft but that’s so slow and boring or Maybe I just like playing with toys
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Post  OhioGardener 7/23/2020, 8:27 am

I use a simple old fashioned Dibble to plant onion sets, and I suspect that would work fine. I poke a hole in the soil, put in the onion sets, and use the tip of the dibble to fill the hole. Very fast, very effective.  This particular dibble belonged to my grandfather, and is nearly 100 years old, but they still make & sell them.

SFG Journey: Beneficial nematodes experiment Dibble11

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Post  Dan in Ct 7/23/2020, 9:08 am

OhioGardener, I bought a wooden dibbler, a tool by many names, a couple of years ago because I thought it would be great for planting garlic. The problem is I can never find it when I need it but recently solved that problem being a bucketeer with one of these. Now to just round up all the gardening tools. Home Depot has one on sale also but this one was more weather resistant.


https://www.lowes.com/pd/AWP-HP-Polyester-Exterior-Hanging-Bucket-Tool-Organizer/50175697

haas, I use an old broom handle that I cut off the worn out broom part, marked 4" with a Sharpie all the way around on the rounded ended, basically turned the handle upside down to plant garlic. I can do this before I get my kneeler out to plant my garlic. I think the repurposed broom stick might work quite nicely.
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Post  yolos 7/23/2020, 11:58 am

I use dowel's in different diameters for various plantings.  A small diameter for regular size seeds such as beans and a larger size diameter for leeks, onions, garlic.  I also make markings on the bottom of the dowel to measure depth in inches and draw lines using different colors around the diameter so I can easily see how deep the seed will go.  Here is a picture of one of my larger dowels used for planting leek seedlings.  Basically this is the same as using a broom handle.  The diameter is 1 inch.  I know they have smaller diameter dowels but not sure if they sell larger diameter dowels.

SFG Journey: Beneficial nematodes experiment Dowel10
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Post  has55 7/26/2020, 5:56 am

great ideas, thanks!!!
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Post  has55 8/2/2020, 8:22 pm

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Post  has55 8/4/2020, 12:36 pm

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Post  has55 8/4/2020, 12:46 pm

this may be a another method of getting my nematodes from my vermicompost
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Post  has55 8/4/2020, 1:01 pm

dStack you might have a solution to your root eating nematode problem. this is impressive results.


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