1 November - Heaters & liverwort

Heaters - Calibrate thermostats with external data loggers or other similar devices - do not rely on the temperature readings just from the computer system. This will save on fuel and avoid unnecessary crop damage. Fans need to be operating correctly to move the warm air around structures.

Disinfectants - For the most effective use of disinfectants, remove as much organic matter as possible from Mypex and sand before applying.

Liverwort - Apply sodium bicarbonate to compost surfaces to control liverwort. Apply at 12g/mt2 (122kg/ha) as a powder to the top of compost surfaces. For moss control, apply Mogeton (EAMU 2015-2273) to protected crops on dry days.

Bud blindness - Low temperatures and low light levels affect concentrations of plant growth regulators in crops, leading to poor bud production. Move vulnerable plants outside to a sheltered but sunny position to encourage bud formation this month.

Container weeds - Patchy weed control on crops grown on capillary systems is usually due to dry pot surfaces. Top them up with Flexidor this autumn.

Light - Pull back thermal screens and wash off shade material from glasshouses to take advantage of sunny days over the winter period.

Pests - Control any active aphids, whitefly and mites on protected crops. Install sticky traps over vulnerable crops and clean up with contact-acting products such as Majestik, Pyrethrum 5EC, Savona, SB Plant Invigorator or Spruzit. Apollo 50SC (EAMUs required) can be applied to outdoor ornamental crops affected by mites this season. Avoid frost before, during and after applications of any pesticide at this time of year.

Virus - If there are a few plants showing mottling within a crop, remove and destroy them to prevent infections spreading from cultural work such as trimming.

Pathways - Control the blue-green algae (Nostoc commune) that produces bubble-like growths on pathways and beds using Jet 5 or Mogeton (EAMU 2015-2273) in protected structures.

Trimming - Wait until late winter/early spring before trimming plants to avoid wounded stems and foliage sitting dormant for a long period. Crops will be at greater risk of stem dieback and Botrytis if trimmed now.

Botrytis - Open polytunnel and glasshouse doors and vents when weather allows. Alter the sequence of automatic watering and apply early in the morning rather than at night, to allow foliage to dry out during the day. Between 10 and 20 degsC and at 100 per cent humidity, Botrytis growth is irreversible after three hours.

Find more nursery maintenance advice and checklists at HorticultureWeek.co.uk/nursery.


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