termites in raised vegetable bed

jds82April 6, 2007

i have built a raised bed for my vegetables this year and have filled it with many different thins from black kow, peat humus, aged leaf mold,composted mushrooms,pulverized aged pine bark, and a little topsoil from my yard. some of the store bought compost ,peat humus, and of course pine bark had aged wood pieces and chips. i tilled this all together and added a little lime about a month ago. i have not planted anything yet, but i have all my vegetables in 4 inch pots some what buried in the ground to preserve moisture. after watering yesterday i lifted one of the pots out of the ground to examine plant roots showing from bottom and noticed that there were a few termites under where the pot had bee sitting in the dirt. is this some thing i should be concerned about, or is it just the process af nature breaking down the organics. the wood i used for my beds is pressure treated wood, yellow wood, which does not use arsenic in the curing process.

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squeeze(z8 BC)

termites do love dead dry woody plant material - they, or any number of similar critters would be attracted to the ideal living space you've created with all the dry, high carbon materials you've built the soil with - might try soaking it really well


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 1:09PM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

g'day jds82,

nothing to be concerend with in my books, termites are a fact of life just that the majority never get to see them. so long as you have all your termite barriers are well maintaned for you buildings then there are no worries from my experience.

there are many sorts of subterrainian termites and not all are interested in homes.

in the garden they help with decomposition as do lots of other critters, you may find now that you have disturbed them that they will move on from that spot.


Here is a link that might be useful: len's garden page

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 3:42PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

I seriously doubt you have termites in a lasagna bed you built this year.

Can you post some good close up photos on the forum?

If not, take samples to your county's Extension Service office or to a large independent garden center which has knowledgeable personnel.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 12:04AM
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You first need a positive I.D. Then you you'll be able to decide on coexistence or eradication. Note that home invasion is not the only consideration. Some termites will move on to greener pastures, like your shrubs. I believe they prefer dead wood, but it would be best to research it.

If squaring off is the course you decide on, there are organic methods that work well. Keep us informed.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 12:49AM
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Termites need a cool, moist environment to live in so their nests will always be in the soil someplace that is cool and moist. In the south, especially around the gulf coast there will be 5 species, at last count of termites, some of which will eat wet wood, although most species only dine on dry wood. Termites are a whiteish or creamy color, except for those flying out to establish new colonies and they do not have a waist. Ants have the pinched waist, not termites, so if what you have does not have a waist and is creamy colored you may have termites in that bed, but most likely they will do little to no harm unless you have some dry wood for them to digest.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 7:09AM
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