Practical findings from Horticultural Development Council trial, plus summaries of academic research and scientific trials, compiled by Dr Ken Cockshull.

Science Into Practice - Better nutrient management

The production of quality container-grown hardy nursery plants requires accurate management of plant nutrition throughout the whole life of the crop.

Science Into Practice - Herb growth and shelf life

Low light levels induce the growth of longer, weaker stems and petioles in plants, a condition known as etiolation. Such plants show reduced shelf life and may fail to meet buyer specifications and customer expectations. Etiolation can be an issue in pot herb production, so the HDC commissioned project PE 015 to investigate practical solutions.

Science Into Practice - Researching earwig decline

Reports that earwigs are declining in some apple and pear orchards have raised concern for pest control and is it thought that this problem could be linked to the use of certain crop-protection products.

Science Into Practice - Preventing loss of mushrooms

Infection of compost by Trichoderma aggressivum can result in up to 100 per cent crop loss in mushrooms.

Science Into Practice - Strawberry pest prediction

Each season, strawberry growers expect to contend with certain flower and leaf pests, but they can never be quite sure when the pests will strike.

Science Into Practice - Broccoli storage

Most vegetables are botanically roots, leaves, stems, seeds or fruits. Broccoli is a flower bud, so the grower has a difficult task aiming for prolonged storage.

Science Into Practice - Bulb hygiene at drip treatment

Previous HDC-funded work identified a replacement for formalin as an additive to bulb treatment tanks. However, the industry wanted to avoid depending on just FAM 30 (an iodine-based disinfectant).

Science Into Practice - Sweet pepper fruit rot control

Internal fruit rot of sweet pepper is an increasing problem worldwide and poses a significant issue for growers because symptoms will often not arise until at the packhouse or supermarket.

Science Into Practice - Reducing loss in radish crops

Pre and post-harvest splitting in radishes results in significant product wastage.

Science Into Practice - Crop lighting for ornamentals

The phasing-out of tungsten bulbs led HDC to investigate alternatives (PC 296).

Science Into Practice - Minimising residues

The soft-fruit industry is under pressure to reduce pesticide residues.

Science Into Practice - Finding better ways to spray

Spraying technology has seen some significant developments over the past few years.

Science Into Practice - Conference pear storage

Early experience of using SmartFreshTM in pear stores found that the fruit often fails to ripen properly after coming out of store.

Science Into Practice - Better defences for lettuce crops

Spray programmes incorporating already approved and experimental bio-fungicides and chemical products with activity against the main lettuce diseases are being evaluated in HDC project FV/PE 410 "Lettuce: Further development of 'Best Practice' for disease control in protected and outdoor crops".

Science Into Practice - Weed control for narcissus

The use of herbicides after cropping in narcissus production is important because weeds germinate after the soil has been disturbed by pickers.

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Research Matters

Click here to see an archive of 199 Research Matters articles by Dr Ken Cockshull.

View all Research Matters articles
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