sod and wireworms

Gary and Sarah Rowland hcf at
Tue Jul 11 23:41:48 EDT 2000

Solarizing with clear plastic so the heat penatrates will work,  black
plastic won't do the trick.
Gary Rowland,  Hairston Creek Farm
----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Worsley <pwors at>
To: market farming <market-farming at>
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 10:13 AM
Subject: Re: sod and wireworms

> I've had terrible problems with wireworms, especially in potatoes. I'm
> farming on former dairy pasture. My advice would be to get the grass
> out, by tilling, if necessary, and then plant cover crops (buckwheat in
> summer, all-legume green manure mix in winter). The wireworm population
> will gradually decline over a period of 3 or 4 years due to frequent
> tilling and absence of grass roots, which they feed on. Solarizing your
> soil after tilling with black plastic might help, also. Peter
> Nancy Haycock wrote:
> >
> > When I started this year, someone advised me NOT to till up all the
> > sod in my field for beds, but instead to leave the sod between the
> > beds intact, and then mow that with a lawnmower. They said that this
> > would help prevent erosion, and be easier to manage then tilling up
> > the whole area.  I did that, but have discovered quite a number of
> > wireworms in my beds.
> > Now I am wondering if I shouldn't backtrack, and till up the grass
> > between my beds. (maybe planting clover or some other cover to attract
> > beneficials)
> > My first question is, do you think this would help get rid of the
> > wireworms (in other words, are the wireworms likely to travel from the
> > sod into my beds?).  I would prefer to tackle the problem now, rather
> > than in a couple of years. On the other hand, am I just creating work
> > for myself??
> > Second, IF I am going to till up the sod in September, would putting
> > black plastic down now kill the sod by then? My sod is incredibly
> > difficult to work with because the hay field has not been tilled or
> > disked in at least 30 years (just hayed), and there is this orange
> > woody root (like wire) that runs through it. I think maybe this orange
> > woody root might be vetch, but I'm not sure.
> > Thanks for any thoughts.
> > Nancy
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