Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) are minute, worm-like animals that are very common in soil. They have a wide host range, and cause problems in many annual and perennial crops. Tomatoes are among the most seriously affected, with the nematodes causing problems in all growing areas.
As a general rule, common symptoms of a bad root knot nematode infestation can include chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves/stems), stunted growth, wilting, and a lack of production of fruit.
However, these may be nonexistent to severe depending on the population of nematodes, the health of the plant, the natural resistance of the plant, and any number of other factors in the soil makeup. It can also be hard to separate the symptoms from other pest/disease issues.
The only real way to be sure that it is in fact root knot nematodes is to carefully remove a plant from the soil and examine its roots. If there are a lot of galls growing along the root system, it’s likely root knot nematodes at work.
While these microscopic nematode parasites can be problematic, root knot nematodes are not uncontrollable. They may be tricky, but with good garden management, you won’t have negative consequences!
Become a member of the PlantIn community Sign Up for Free
to continue reading
Already a member? Sign In