Nematodes, Oh My

We had to pull one of the squash plants out of the Family of 4 garden yesterday because it was pretty much dead. Sadly, it was our one remaining Bush Delicata squash plant. I had been pretty sure that the problem was just Squash Vine Borers. The plant had sustained some damage earlier, and I thought it was finally succumbing to the damage.

When we pulled it up – Surprise! The roots were terribly knobby and twisted. Not at all normal! The roots look like they are severely infested with nematodes. UGH!

Roots CloseupThe nematodes would partially explain why this plant, which had been bearing up well to the onslaught of squash vine borer, all of a sudden started wilting and developing scorched leaves! The nematodes were damaging the roots, preventing it from taking up the water it needed.

The loss of the squash plant is sad, but what is really making me upset is that this particular raised bed has not had nematode problems before…I wonder where they came from?

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on August 19, 2009, in Family of 4 Garden, Plant Problems & Diseases and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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