How to use Nematodes in the garden

Nematodes are microscopic roundworms that occur naturally in the soil. While some species are harmful, there are those that have proven to be quite useful. Beneficial nematodes attack pests that dwell in the soil. This process takes a minimum of 3 days with maximum control seen after about 2-4weeks.

Some of the pests controlled by nematodes include
• Cutworms
• Armyworms
• Sod webworms
• Billbugs
• Japanese beetle
• Black wine weevil
• Bean weevil
• Banana moth
• Winter moth
• Fungus gnat

The Process
The process of how to use nematodes in the garden is simple and easy. However, you need to follow these steps to maximize the efficiency of the nematodes.

• Check the weather
The best time to apply nematodes is very early or very late in the day. This is to avoid exposure to bright sun. The UV light from the sun will kill them

• Air your garden/lawn
Air your garden or lawn before applying nematodes. This will help in the movement of pests down into the roots areas of your and consequently maximize the effect of the nematodes.

• Water the soil
The nematodes will die if you apply them on dry soil. To prevent this, water the soil well and allow some time to soak. This is will also aid the movement of the pests closer to the root surface.

How to do it
1. Using a bucket, mix the nematodes with water and stir well to break up any lumps Let the solution sit for about 20 minutes.

2. Pour the solution with into a spray bottle, specifically designed for nematode application. Sprinkle the solution on the soil along the garden and on the plants or over the lawn.

3. For effective penetration, water the soil soon after to help the nematodes penetrate deeper into the soil where the pests live.

Nematodes are best used as a preventive measure to control newly hatched larvae. They will infect the pests within 2 days of application and kill them within 14 days.

Getting rid of Nematodes
If you would like to get rid of the nematodes at the end of each growing season, pull out the plants and dig the roots out. This will remove the nematodes’ source of food. Till the soil and leave it to dry. Exposure to the sun will kill them.

Storage
Nematodes have no smell in them and can last up to 4 days without refrigeration. Discard them if you notice a characteristic smell of fish from them

Safety Handling
Animals and humans cannot be harmed by nematodes so it is completely safe to use. Nematodes only affect pests.

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