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Jun 26, 2012 06:33 AM

Nematoids:Friend or Foe?

I pose this out of complete ignorance. I am not sure I would recognize a nematoid (aka "roundworm"-surely not?) if it jumped up and said "boo".

From a thread below, I formed the impression that nematoids are garden pests to be avoided.

But a garden show that I listen to online from BBC Radio 4 (UK), had a panel that raved about the beneficial impact of nematoids and 'nematoid products'(?).

Is it the ocean that makes the difference? I am a resolutely organic veggies/fruit gardener here on the North Eastern seaboard-should I be attracting or repelling nematoids? I do see the occasional coiled-worm, shiney, small (penny-sized) bug in my raised- garden beds-is that what I want/don't want?

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  1. The name is nematode.
    They can be both beneficial and detrimental...depending on the type (predatory or pest).
    From wikipedia:

    "Depending on the species, a nematode may be beneficial or detrimental to plant health. From agricultural and horticulture perspectives, the two categories of nematode: predatory ones, which will kill garden pests like cutworms, and pest nematodes, like the root-knot nematode, which attack plants and those that act as vectors spreading plant viruses between crop plants. Predatory nematodes can be bred by soaking a specific recipe of leaves and other detritus in water, in a dark, cool place, and can even be purchased as an organic form of pest control."

    1. Yep, as Novelli said... can be beneficial or detrimental depending upon sepcies. If ou do a search on-line, I'm sure you could find sources for beneficial nematodes for your garden. And btw... a nematode will not jump up yell, 'Boo1!'. They are nearly microscopic.