The toxicity of Kaempferia galanga rhizome-derived methanol extract (RME), powder (RP) and steam distillate (RSD) to Meloidogyne incognita second-stage juveniles (J2) and eggs, and their effects on Lycopersicon esculentum germination and growth were examined in vitro and in pot experiments. Results were compared with those of three nematicides: carbofuran, fosthiazate and metam sodium. In contact + fumigant bioassays with J2, RME applied at 1, 0.5 and 0.25 mg (g soil)–1 resulted in 92, 88 and 73% mortality, respectively. The lethality of RME was almost the same as carbofuran but lower than that of either fosthiazate or metam sodium. RSD and RP were less active than RME. In vapour-phase mortality bioassays with J2, the test materials were more effective in a closed container than in an open one, indicating that mode of delivery was, in part, a result of vapour action. In direct-contact mortality bioassays with M. incognita eggs, RME, RSD and fosthiazate treatments resulted in 91, 100 and 95% inhibition of hatch at 250 μg ml–1 and 82, 88 and 81% inhibition of hatch at 100 μg ml–1, respectively. In filter paper bioassays with L. esculentum seed, 8.8 μg cm–2 RME and RP did not cause germination inhibition, while RSD and fosthiazate treatments resulted in 84 and 13% germination inhibition. In pot tests, RME and RSD applied at 8 mg (g soil)–1 reduced galling caused by M. incognita significantly, and fosthiazate at 0.02 mg (g soil)–1 stopped galling completely. Kaempferia galanga rhizome-derived materials, particularly a methanol extract, merit further study as potential nematicides and hatching inhibitors for the control of M. incognita as fumigants with contact action.