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Nematode Management in Organic Agriculture

Romy Krueger and Robert McSorley
Florida State University
IFAS Extension

Nematode Management

Nematodes are usually microscopic in size and are classified as unsegmented worms, belonging to the Phylum Nematoda. Plant-parasitic nematodes are a concern for growers of agricultural or Open Pollinated / Heirloom vegetable garden crops. These plant-parasitic nematodes will mainly feed on the roots of plants. A few kinds will feed on foliage but this not common. Many other kinds of nematodes are present in the soil as well. These include decomposers, predators, insect parasites, and animal parasites. Some nematodes are aquatic and do not affect terrestrial plants. Other nematodes act as decomposers, predators, and insect parasites. In farming systems, nematode predators and parasites of insects are beneficial, while nematode parasites of animals and plants are considered pests in agriculture. Beneficial nematodes that

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How to Make a Scarecrow for your Open Pollinated / Heirloom Vegetable Garden

A scarecrow in the farmers field. - St. Clare Heirloom Seeds
To build a scarecrow from scratch, you need only a few materials and a willingness to use your imagination. – St. Clare Heirloom Seeds

Scarecrows have been scaring birds away, or, in some cases amusing them, for as long as man has grown crops. Some say these whimsical creatures were first used by tribes in central or northern Europe; others claim that Indians were the first to employ them. Wherever the origin, the scarecrow has been used on farms and in Open Pollinated / Heirloom vegetable gardens across the country for many years.

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Cutworms in the Heirloom / Open Pollinated Vegetable Garden

Cutworm - St. Clare Heirloom Seeds

Cutworms in the   Heirloom / Open Pollinated Vegetable Garden

Cutworms are moth larvae that hide under the soil during the day, coming out in the dark to feed on plants. Cutworms typically attack the first part of the plant they encounter, namely the stem, often of a seedling, and cuts it down by eating thru it; hence the name cutworm. – St. Clare Heirloom Seeds

Cutworms are the larvae, or young, of stout, dull-colored moths (millers) that fly at night. The different species attack Heirloom / Open Pollinated vegetable plants in different ways. The most conspicuous( and frustrating!) damage is done by the cutworms that cut down young plants by feeding on the stems. If you see cutworms in your Heirloom / Open Pollinated vegetable garden, or plant damage that is evidence of their presence, act promptly to control them. A heavy infestation can ruin a Heirloom / Open Pollinated vegetable garden in short order.

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