11 April - Notify beekeepers

Bees: Notify local beekeepers if spraying flowering crops. Check product labels for information and only apply when bees are not foraging - early morning or early evening depending on the weather.

Scab: Check local weather forecasts for vulnerable times of scab infection on Chaenomeles, Crataegus, Malus, pyracantha, Pyrus and sorbus. The disease can infect overhead irrigated protected crops, too. Alternate protectant and eradicant products for good control such as Topas followed by Dithianon WG, Radspor FL or Systhane 20EW.

Anti-transpirants: Apply to newly potted crops to prevent moisture loss and wind damage. Products include Wiltruf S600 and Orosorb.

Midge: Check Crataegus spp. for gall tip midge. Eggs deposited in April/May hatch and feeding damage causes infected tips to distort into rosette-like galls. Gazelle SG, Hallmark WZT (EoA 2008-2944) or Dursban WG should control.

Despatching plants: Make sure that any plants left over are still included in your pest and disease control programmes. They can act as a "sink" for transfer of infection onto new crops if left untreated.

Downy mildew: Continue controls using Aliette 80WG, Amistar (EoA 2009-0443), Folio Gold (EoAs required), Fubol Gold WG (EoA 2012-0217), Invader (EoA 2011-0717), Paraat (EoA 2011-2585), Signum (EoA 2009-1842) or Valbon (EoA 2011-1123) on digitalis, pansies, roses, buddleia, hops and hebes. Morning dew under protection and damp days both encourage levels of infection.

Buddleia: Black sticky spots on leaves and stems of protected buddleia, digitalis or Phygelius are a natural plant response to high day and low night temperatures. There is no damage to the leaf underneath the spot and irrigation or hand watering will remove it over a couple of days.

Aphids: IPM-compatible products include Aphox, Chess WG, Majestik, Naturalis-L, Savona and SB Plant Invigorator. Apply Aphidius colemani for melon cotton and peach potato aphids and Aphidius ervi for the potato aphid, glasshouse potato aphid and others. Non-IPM products include Actara (EoA 2008-2801), Calypso (EoAs required), Decis, Gazelle SG, Hallmark WZT (EoA 2008-2944) or Intercept 70WG. Check IRAC codes to avoid resistance. Woolly aphids are also starting to colonise Fagus, ornamental cherry, Malus and pines.

John Adlam, Managing director, Dove Associates

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