Pest control: Where biological control applications have ended and a clean-up is required, use long-term persistent products such as Decis (EAMU 2014-1011), Hallmark WZT (EAMU 2008-2944) or Toppel 100 (EAMU 2015-1454) for aphid, capsid, caterpillar, leafhopper and scale insect control. Do not apply after Christmas if predators are to be used in spring 2017.
Vine weevil larvae: Continue with nematode applications using Nemasys L. Compost and soil temperatures need to remain above 5 degsC for effective control.
Bacteria: Prevent bacterial infections from overwintering by using Cuprokylt (EAMU 2015-1176) and Serenade ASO (EAMUs required) on ornamental prunus, especially those for bare-root sales. Avoid rain and frost before, during and after applications.
Potting: Apply an anti-transpirant to evergreen plants post-potting to prevent excessive transpiration on warm days this autumn.
Irrigation: Check newly potted crops daily to avoid drought and get them rooted well this autumn. Older plants can suffer from overwatering, especially on dull days. Inform key staff about the irrigation draw-down plan showing drain valve locations for irrigation lines and mains. Include pumps, sprayers, fertiliser injectors and irrigators too.
Autumn bedding: Watch for downy mildew on pansy and viola. Products for effective control this month include Fenomenal (EAMU 2013-1990), Infinito (EAMU 2013-0952), Paraat (EAMU 2011-2585), Percos (EAMU 2013-0819), Pergado Uni (EAMU 2012-1605), Revus (EAMUs required) or Signum (EAMU 2012-2141).
Botrytis: Control active infections using Octave, Rovral WG (EAMU 2011-3200), Prestop, Serenade ASO (EAMUs required), Signum (EAMU 2012-2141) or Switch. Open doors and vents during the day and make sure that the crops have good airflow at pot level, especially evergreens.
Renting land: Test soils first for plant parasitic nematode and Verticillium wilt levels.
Field preparations: Plough land now to use any frosty conditions to encourage soil cracking. This will help to reduce waterlogging and allow early-spring plantings. Apply Roundup now to perennial weeds for long-lasting control. The glyphosate remains at a low level of activity all winter, providing good suppression the following season.
John Adlam, Managing director, Dove Associates