Fogging: Cold fogging pesticides in protected structures gets a product into a crop without leaving excessive water on foliage.
Adelgids: Check Abies, Picea, Pinus, Pseudotsuga, Juniperus and Larix for the typical white fluffy deposits exuded from pests' bodies. The pineapple galls that develop later on contain young nymphs so control is important now to keep plants clean. Apply Decis or Hallmark WZT (EAMU 2008-2944) plus a wetting agent (depending on product formulation and instructions) to penetrate the "wax". Sooty moulds that can grow on the honeydew can be controlled using Rovral WG (EAMU 2011-3200), Octave or Switch.
Vine weevil: Check containers for larvae and apply nematodes if soil and compost temperatures are at or above 5 degsC.
Oaks: Apply Gazelle SG or Vydate 10G (EAMUs required) in the next few weeks to help prevent oak tip midge damage on central buds on young field-grown oaks.
Dianthus: Apply a directed spray of Octave, Prestop (EAMUs required), Serenade ASO (EAMUs required) or Switch to control Fusarium spores on the crowns of newly potted crops. Sciarid larvae can spread this disease so control using Atheta, Hypoaspis, Macrocheles or Steinernema feltiae nematodes.
Predators: Start predator introductions now for whitefly, aphids, mites and thrips in protected frost-free structures.
Field weeds: Leave a week's interval after preparing land for planting to encourage weed seedlings to emerge and then burn them off with a contact herbicide including Reglone, Shark (EAMUs required) or selected products containing glufosinate-ammonium a few days before planting. This will help to improve the effectiveness of subsequently applied residual herbicides.
Plane anthracnose: Apply preventive fungicides such as Bravo 500 (EAMU 2011-1130) or Dithane 945 (EAMUs required) to outdoor crops. Check for small brown patches that develop underneath leaf buds in the next few weeks. Prevent infection spreading into leaves and causing leaf-drop by applying a systemic fungicide in early summer.
Slugs: Choose products containing ferric phosphate. Read the best practice information available online at www.getpelletwise.co.uk if you are using products containing metaldehyde.