Got Herbivorous Nematodes? Just add Leaf Litter.

leaf vs root.jpg

This study says that leaf litter was preferred by fungi and root litter by other microbes like bacteria and nematodes, and that herbivorous nematodes were controlled more by leaf litter than root litter.

Probably by the fungi catching the nematodes with lasso! Yeehaw.

It also suggests that cutting plants at the stems and just leaving the roots to feed soil microorganisms may increase nematodes over time, especially when nitrogen or phosphorus is added. Phosphorus is known to negatively impact on fungi populations, while nitrogen amendment can result in plants exuding less carbon from their roots that fungi and other soil microbes feed on, microbes that then fix nitrogen and make other nutrients bioavailable for the plant.

So, if you’re doing a no dig approach to gardening and leaving roots in place, mulch is a must. Whether that’s a carbon source in the form of leaves or a low phosphorus compost mulch or otherwise, basically think of the fungi!

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2 thoughts on “Got Herbivorous Nematodes? Just add Leaf Litter.

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