30 September - Check your covers

Cultural work: Check fleece and Cosytex for holes and dampness, and order new supplies if required. Replace damaged tunnel sheets while air temperatures are still warm enough. Clean all gutters and downpipes on structures as well as checking all drains.

Botrytis Check closely spaced crops with dense, soft foliage. Improve airflow and control infections with Amistar (EAMU 2009-0443), Octave, Rovral WG (EAMU 2011-3200), Scala (EAMU 2011-1315), Serenade ASO (EAMUs required), Signum (EAMU 2012-2141) or Switch.

Tank additives With unsettled weather conditions, Addit, Codacide Oil or Logic can help to improve rainfastness. Headland Rhino, Silwet L-77, Slither or Slippa help to provide better foliar coverage. Check pesticide labels and off-label approval information before tank mixing.

Plant passporting Make sure that your documents are up to date for any inspections that may take place over the next few months. For further details, see www.gov.uk/guidance/plant-health-controls. For further information on pests and diseases, see https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/phiw/riskRegister.

Flea beetles Affecting Crambe, Erysimum, fuchsia and others. Control using Calypso (EAMUs required), Decis, Hallmark WZT (EAMU 2008-2944), Pyrethrum 5EC, Spruzit or Toppel 100 (EAMU 2015-1454).

Rabbits Install wire netting perimeter fences around vulnerable crops, dig it into the ground and lay it horizontally under the surface for at least 500mm to the outside. Check for and repair any holes as required. Electric fences will provide useful temporary protection. Apply Grazers as a deterrent and use effective bait such as carrot in traps. Characteristic bites at an angle of 45 degs can be seen on stems and leaves.

Mites Apply Dursban WG or Sequel to Fraxinus to control late-summer rust and spider mite populations before they overwinter. Apply one of these products to Alnus and Tilia, which can also suffer from a number of different damaging mites.

Algae in reservoirs Use barley straw (HDC project HNS 82 recommended 15-25g per square metre in spring and autumn), products containing harmless blue dyes such as Dyofix Pond Liquid or ultrasonic waves (AGA Systems) for good effect.

Green manures Order seed for planting at the end of the month. For additional biofumigant effects, try the Caliente mustard seed range. Sample fields beforehand to determine pH and nutrient levels for correct fertiliser applications prior to sowing.

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