Ever feel like you just can't win? Well, yesterday, my jaw dropped as I learned that my garden has Nematodes!!!!!! Ahh!!!!! It's a gardener's worst nightmare. So, not only did my chickens destroy my precious, organic, heirloom seedlings, but they would've never stood a chance anyway. For those who don't know what Nematodes are, they are a small, parasidic-like worm that attach themselves to the roots of plants and suck the life out of them. Seeds will sprout and things will begin to grow just fine, but once the roots start taking off, these little buggars attack with a capital "A" and batta-bing-batta-boom...dead garden. (Insert crying here!) I wondered why the few plants that made it in the raised beds never really took off. I wondered why the 3 tomato plants I bought from our local nursery (and stayed in their original soil/pots) are still thriving. I wondered why my mustard seeds are still thriving...hmm..they got planted in soil that wasn't infested.
So, what is the cure you ask? Well, there is none! (Fancy that.) My two options are to completely empty the soil that was delivered to our house and get rid of it, OR I can try to treat it, but this will take probably a year at least. I need to let my chickens "have at it" in the garden. I need to add as much organic material (leaves, sticks, compost, manure) as possible. Cetain good bacterias (if there are enough!!!) can actually kill the Nematodes off.
Ug. Well, another lesson learned. In a weird, twisted way, I'm glad to have learned another gardening lesson, but large-scale lessons are so hard to gulp down and move on. I called the dirt company and they're "thinking about" giving me a refund. We shall see.
What to do now! Any suggestions fellow gardeners?