Effect of Meloidogyne arenaria and Mulch Type on Okra in Microplot Experiments


  • C. H. S. P. Ritzinger
  • R. McSorley
  • R. N. Gallaher


The effects of perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata) hay, an aged yard-waste compost (mainly woodchips), and a control treatment without amendment were determined on two population levels of root-knot (Melaidogyne arenaria) nematode over three consecutive years in field microplots. Okra (Hibiscus esculentus, susceptible to the root-knot nematode) and a rye (Secale cereale) cover crop (poor nematode host) were used in the summer and winter seasons, respectively. The organic amendment treatments affected plant growth parameters. In the first year, okra yields were greatest in peanut-amended plots. Yield differences with amendment treatment diminished in the second and third years. Okra plant height, total fruit weight, and fruit number were greater with the lower population level of the root-knot nematode. Residual levels of nutrients in soil were greater where root-knot nematode levels and damage were higher and plant growth was poor. Nutrient levels affected the growth of a subsequent rye cover crop. Key words: compost, Hibiscus esculentus, Meloidogyne arenaria, nematode, organic amendments, pest management, root-knot nematode, sustainable agriculture.