Winter preparations - Check through your irrigation drain-down plan or create one now. Tunnel covers can still be replaced - air temperatures are still warm enough to ensure that they pull nice and tight. Set down newly potted crops in their final winter positions to save on labour. Make sure that tender and valuable plants are allocated space in protected structures.
Virus - If there are a few plants that are showing mottling within a crop, remove and destroy them to prevent the infections spreading from any cultural work such as trimming.
Powdery mildew - Persistent infections can be controlled at this time of year by using a tank mix of food-grade potassium bicarbonate and an adjuvant or Nimrod.
Eelworm - Note down crops and their locations that showed signs of this pest this season for early Movento (EAMU 2011-1987) applications next season or preventive sprays of garlic extract. Hot-water treatment will also provide control. AHDB Horticulture fact sheet 10/13 suggests that dormant bulbs can be dipped for three hours at 44.4 degsC. Herbaceous perennials need a shorter time - no more than one hour.
Conifers - Spray Abies, Picea and Thuja with Bravo 500 (EAMU 2011-1130), Octave, Serenade ASO (EAMUs required), Signum (EAMU 2012-2141) or Switch to control needle cast.
Container weeds - Patchy weed control on crops grown on capillary systems is usually due to dry pot surfaces. Top them up with Flexidor 125 (EAMUs required) this autumn.
Disinfectants - Remove as much organic matter as possible from MyPex and sand before using an approved disinfectant.
Pest activity - Pests are still active on protected crops. Clean up with contact-acting products such as Majestik, Pyrethrum 5EC, Savona, SB Plant Invigorator or Spruzit.
Mosses - These will start building up on top of pots as we enter into the winter months. Apply Mogeton (EAMU 2015-2273) to protected crops on dry days.
Light - Pull back thermal screens and wash off shade material from glasshouses to take advantage of any sunny days that may come along over the course of the winter period.
John Adlam, Managing director, Dove Associates, HorticultureWeek.co.uk/nursery