I have lovely deep raised beds with good soil. However over the past couple seasons my carrots have become gnarled and crooked--I understand this is nematode damage.
Is there anything I can do about it?
thanks so much
If it's nematodes, you can avoid the problem by planting in large containers with clean potting mix.
Or plant in unaffected soil, either at your place or a community garden.
What is the composition of your raised bed? Have you sent in a soil sample for a nematode assay? Do you have other plants in the same bed and have you noticed any signs of nematode damage with them?
Yes, there are several things you can do to control nematode damage to a limited degree, but it doesn't make sense to go to too much effort without the positive results of the nematode assay. Any actions available to homeowners will be non chemical, of course.
Can you remember to check back with us when you find out about the nematodes? It's important to know what kind, too.
If you have bad nematodes, you can order beneficial nematodes online and spray them into your yard! It will take time (a year or so) but they will kill the bad ones! Just google beneficial nematodes
I have no idea what a nematode assay is. Do I send in a soil sample to the university extension service?
I have had my soil analyzed some years back but not for nematodes. I made these particular beds myself from compost, peat moss and sand and I have added more compost over many years. No other plants that I have in these beds have similar problems, including my parsnips. I grow beets every year and no issues. I don't know what other crops would show signs.
Thanks for any more advice
Yes, contact your local extension office for the details about how to collect the soil, how to treat it before delivering to them for mailing. Nematodes are fragile and need to be collected at a time that coincides with when your expension office makes deliveries. The sample also needs to be kept cool at all times.
They may discourage you from collecting a sample until late summer, when nematodes are most active.
Your raised bed does not sound like the kind of environment wherr nematodes would be found. It seems quite odd that the parsnips haven't been affected.
Post pictures please.
Thanks, I'll call the local extension office this week.
As far as photos--I'm sorry but I don't think I'll have any until I harvest in the fall--haven't planted carrots yet thinking "what's the use?" I may have a couple that over-wintered--if so I will post pics.
Thanks so much!