Practical findings from Horticultural Development Council trial, plus summaries of academic research and scientific trials, compiled by Dr Ken Cockshull.
UK poinsettia growers have traditionally relied on relatively few varieties. Infinity accounts for about 80 per cent of the national crop, the remainder made up by varieties such as Christmas Feeling, Christmas Glory, Prima and Titan.
A serious pest of all brassica crops, diamondback moth (DBM) has a very rapid life cycle, particularly at warm temperatures, which contributes to its potential to develop insecticide resistance.
The majority of container-grown hardy nursery stock in the UK receives some form of controlled-release fertiliser as a source of longer-term nutrition.
Soil is one of the most important assets a grower has and improving its health is fundamental to the agronomic and financial sustainability of horticultural enterprises.
A recently completed Defra Horticulture LINK Project (HL01107-SF 120) demonstrated that commercial control of western flower thrips (WFT) in strawberry can be obtained through early and continued releases of the predatory mite Neoseiulus cucumeris in conjunction with Stratiolaelaps scimitus mites and Orius bugs during the summer months while employing an IPM programme that avoids crop-protection products harmful to these predators.
PC 281b Tomato: Micro-organisms in the irrigation water of hydroponic crops grown in closed systems.
In response to increased UK production of Gala apples, the industry needed to develop improved storage protocols to maintain fruit quality and improve flavour retention from harvest through until June.
Sporgon (prochloraz-manganese), the only approved fungicide available to the UK mushroom industry, provides good control of wet bubble (Mycogone perniciosa), moderate control of dry bubble (Lecanicillium fungicola) and weak control of cobweb (Cladobotryum species).
The only reliable current control method for the soil-borne disease Fusarium oxysporum in cut-flower production is steam sterilisation, but this is expensive, time-consuming and large losses can still occur even where the soil has been treated.
SF 126: Blueberry gall midge - sex pheromone monitoring and control with insecticides
Heuchera rust was first identified in the UK in 2004 but incidence has increased significantly since 2010 across a range of different heuchera varieties.
BOF 076a: Understanding physiological disorders in narcissus - extension to studying the three-year down crop
CP 105: Integrated protection of horticultural crops through enhancing endogenous defence mechanisms (AHDB Horticulture Studentship)
Earwigs are important generalist predators in apple and pear orchards. They play a key part in regulating populations of several highly damaging pests including woolly and other aphid pests, mussel scale, codling moth and pear sucker. Recent research in the UK and Europe has indicated that several commonly used crop-protection products have harmful effects on earwigs in orchards.
Regional Operation Manager
Greenbelt Group Ltd South Midlands
Gardening Team Leader
Garden Transformation North London
Guildford College Guildford, Surrey
Commercial Horticulture Supervisor
Reaseheath College Nantwich, Cheshire
Work Based Tutor in Sportsturf/Horticulture, Hampshire/South area
Myerscough College Hampshire, South West area