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wood infested by termites  RSS feed

 
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Hello, I am on the forum and a hugelkultur amateur.

I am constructing a raise bed on my garden and I have a lot of wood infested with termites.
Is that wood ok to construct raised beds or termites will just finish it all?

I read something in google that says termites help improving soil. It is true?
Termites can help agriculture crops?
 
pollinator
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Termites are breaking down the wood into nutrients for the soil. I don't have termites as much as I have bess beetles. While ripping into an old log and seeing a bunch of wriggling 1/4" termites is not very surprising, when you are chucking pieces of log into a new hugelkultur and some 3" long black beetles come scurrying out, it can give you a bit of a start.

As far as I have read, all insect frass has the same NPK value, 2-2-2, so it is a 'balanced' fertilizer, but with those numbers you are going to need a lot of it to feed your plants. Good thing you have all those termites!
 
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In Africa, using ants and termites to increase crop yields. You can give them wood for their food and place. Hope this helps!
 
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Totally right Maxene; termites are a farmer's best friend in Africa. They preserve and enrich the soil without a drop of rain for months on end.
 
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I have termites in my rhubarb bed, when I pull a stock they have eaten into the flesh. If they are good for soil why are they getting into my rhubarb?
 
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Sebastian, just remember that the termites are not going to stay politely in your hugelkulture mound or trench.  When they finished with that, and reproducing at top speed, they will go find your house.    As great as hugelkultur is, it can be a real source of trouble if there are termites around.    Honestly, I would burn that wood, put the ashes in the hugelkulture mound or trench, and then find some wood they don't eat to bury.
 
Nathanael Szobody
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Beverly Brevit wrote:I have termites in my rhubarb bed, when I pull a stock they have eaten into the flesh. If they are good for soil why are they getting into my rhubarb?



Because rhubarb's native climate has no termites. So rhubarb has no resistance to it.

Just like the way you can't grow bananas in Siberia without an artificial environment--a greenhouse--some plants that do not have resistance to termites will need to be grown in a container in your climate.
 
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Termite-infested wood becomes brittle and will break apart fairly easily eventually. If it's a long-term raised bed then be prepared to replace the wood eventually.
 
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Cristo Balete wrote:Sebastian, just remember that the termites are not going to stay politely in your hugelkulture mound or trench.  When they finished with that, and reproducing at top speed, they will go find your house.    As great as hugelkultur is, it can be a real source of trouble if there are termites around.    Honestly, I would burn that wood, put the ashes in the hugelkulture mound or trench, and then find some wood they don't eat to bury.



When termites are a problem you can get rid of them fairly easily by using fresh coffee grounds to coat the area of their nest then water them with a gentle mister until the coffee grounds are so saturated they begin to "brew".
The acids in the fresh extraction will be lethal to the termite colony and it will persist for about 3 months afterwards. This same technique will work on ant colonies too, especially fire ants, just be sure to cover enough ground to cover the whole colony.(ants can have tunnels ten feet from the opening you see)

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