Root knot nematodes are tiny, wormlike creatures common in soils worldwide. They have a wide range of host plants with tomatoes being one of the most critically affected. Because they are difficult to eradicate, prevention and cultural control are imperative. Whether it be through building soil health, targeted treatments, or planting resistant varieties, soil maintenance is your first step to controlling root knot nematodes.
Conditions & Symptoms:
Root knot nematodes thrive in moist soil conditions and require a film of water around the soil before they are able to move. Eggs hatching is driven by soil moisture and temperature. They produce enzymes that enlarge plant cells, creating galls ranging from 1-10 mm in diameter - the "root knots". Effects of a root knot nematode infestation depend on the pest density. They include stunting, wilting, yellowing, reduction of flowering, fruit set, and fruit development, and sometimes even plant death.