Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nematode Treatment: Round 2

We started into a second round of applying beneficial nematodes last week. What is this mystery product safely secured away in re-used canning half pints? The tiny nematodes that none of us could ever see with a naked eye are hanging out in this clay medium as they await their application into the field which requires very moist conditions. As I understand it the nematodes literally swim to their intended feeding sites (cucumber beetle larvae, we hope!) and require a very moist soil medium in order to do so. This is how they appear in transit as we prepare the timing and fields for fertigating (applying with our watering systems for efficiency) them into our schedule. Upon our initial application, we discovered manual application with a sprayer to be extremely tedious for the scale of the farm. Applying the beneficial nematodes in conjunction with the watering systems was really the only practical solution.

Wish us luck. It will benefit you all too as it will increase productivity and quality of produce if we succeed in decreasing the numbers of cucumber beetles. Unfortunately, the population of the
bad little green lady bugs is so intense on our site that we are prompted to invest in this second treatment and perhaps once more even before the season is done. The problem is that we provide these guys such an incredible environment for survival with great places to live and feed!

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