From the nursery

Rats and mice I have seen evidence of both rats and mice on nurseries over the past few weeks. Rats can dig into pots and remove quantities of compost, whereas mice tend to strip the bark off the lower stems and leave the slithers of bark lying around the site of chewing. Control in tunnels is important for both your staff and plants, and trapping or control with Drat Rat Bait, Neosorexa or Tomcat 2 are effective on both. Change the product with each delivery to avoid resistance in the rat population. Natural England's best-practice guide provides good practical advice on the safe use of rodenticides. Other essential reading includes the Health & Safety Executive advisory leaflets MISC 515 and AIS 31.

Heating systems If you use diesel oil (35 second) for heaters, make sure that you have winter grade oil in the tank for the winter period or you could get fuel gelling during prolonged cold periods. For direct-fired paraffin heaters (28 second) make sure you obtain premium grade paraffin or you could get leaf scorch from the products of combustion.

Field planning With imminent changes to the nitrate vulnerable zones regime and other anti-pollution legislation concerning catchment sensitive farming, we are being encouraged to make accurate planning of next year's fertiliser programme applying only the nutrients needed by the crop. The storage of farmyard manures and the use of winter cover crops all come within the scope of these rules. Now is the time to take field soil samples for analysis. Sampling needs to be accurate - walk each field in a "W" pattern, starting away from gateways and avoiding any past lime or manure heaps.

Voluntary Initiative Keep up to date with your crop protection management plan (CPMP) as part of your Voluntary Initiative action. A new CPMP is available to download from Don't forget to join up for the National Register of Sprayer Operators by registering your spraying staff. You should also be getting your sprayer tested under the National Sprayer Testing Scheme.

Plant imports I recently heard a statement from a European grower that some of the tree subjects they could supply would always be infected with scale insect. This is an unacceptable situation and we should not be allowing material onto our nurseries that has an inherent pest problem. Be discerning in who and where you buy your plants from.

John Adlam is the managing director of Dove Associates

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Avoid costly damage by this serious plant pest.



Masses of colourful tubular flowers can give these plants a substantial presence in the border, says Miranda Kimberley.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles