From the nursery

Weather - Keep an eye on your irrigation system and make sure it is turned off on outdoor beds if it does rain. I have found container plants outside with irrigation systems left turned on and not regulated according to rainfall. Far more plants on nurseries are killed by over-watering than under-watering.

Privet - Leaf rolling caused by privet aphid is now showing up. Control any left over aphids with Decis Protech, Toppel 10 or Aphox.

Mare's tail - Where you have patches of mare's tail I have found that Challenge, applied with a hood, gives good control in a crop situation. If you use glyphosate, make sure you bruise the weed first as that aids uptake and improves control. MCPA will give good knock-down control but is safer on waste-land situations. Casoron G will prevent re-growth over many months.

Rust - Rust has been active on many susceptible subjects. The routine use of Systhane 20 EW, Signum or Folicur will help to control the disease. If you use a strobilurin fungicide for mildew and leaf spot control, then this will also control rust.

Sallow - If you have a problem from local trees consider covering pots with white fleece while the seed is blowing around. The exclusion process can be a further effective tool in keeping the pot surface clean.

Spider mites - Maintain the sprays of acaricides. Switch to Gyro or Sequel now to control the high adult levels where you do not use predators. Dynamec, Oberon and Masai are also suitable. Majestik, Floramite 240SC or SB Plant Invigorator should be used on protected crops where predators are in use.

Leaf miners - Levels of leaf miner continue to be high on many crops of field-grown and container-grown crops. If seen, spray with Dynamec if you have a biological control programme in operation, or Toppel 10 if you do not.

Red bud mite - When budding trees make sure the bud ties are tight and do not allow red bud mite to enter behind the bud.

Adult vine weevil - Control of adults that are now active can be achieved by spraying Gyro onto the foliage of the plants being eaten, last thing at night. The adults feed at night and forage in the Gyro solution, which seems to control them quite effectively.

John Adlam is the managing director of Dove Associates

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