As previously mentioned, my vegetable garden was plagued by a parasitic microorganism causing a disastrous condition known as “root knot“. Since that time, I have solarized my garden, and covered the soil with about 2-3 inches of partially decomposed yard mulch. The idea is that the increased soil temperatures during solarization, and the action of decomposing organisms will keep the parasites under control. So far, so good.
Last year when I tried growing cucumbers, the vines easily wilted and did not yield much fruit. This year, the vines remain healthy, and I have about a dozen small cucumbers.
Last year’s lettuce did okay, but this year it looks better, with less insect damage. Lettuce is not typically harmed by the Root Knot parasites, but I did notice some root damage on my lettuce last spring. The real test will be carrots, which I planted last week. Some of the improvement I am seeing this year could be due to planting later in the fall, after the soil cooled a bit more. The parasite is more active in warmer soil, so planting in cooler weather leaves a smaller time window when the parasite can damage the plant roots.