Hi,Lets Take the Worst case scenario and say it's nematodes . then what ? is it the end of the road ? there has to be something I can do ?
When I had them many years ago, the preferred method of treatment, according to the local nursery owner, was to take all plants out of the garden, turn over the soil and spray with a product called Vapam. After spraying the area, they recommended it be covered with heavy black plastic to help it cook for several days. After several days, uncover the plot, turn the soil over again and cover it again for another week or so. They also recommended companion planting with marigolds. They told me nematodes were repelled by marigolds for some reason.
I had a flower garden with all types of flowers and roses planted in it but they weren't affected by the nematodes. Seems they really do like food crops for some reason. My plants would grow beautiful foliage early on and never set fruit and the hotter it got, the worse the plants started looking. Once I pulled them to check the roots, they looked just as the nursery owner described----all gnarly and had bulbous growths all along the roots and the root ball itself was very stunted when compared to healthy plants.
I finally gave up gardening because I didn't like the idea of that much toxin in the soil and they were never totally eradicated and came back over and over again.
Like I mentioned in my first response. I hope it's not nematodes.