Eelworm Note down crops and their locations that showed signs of this pest this season for early Vydate 10G (EAMUs required) or Movento (EAMU 2011-1987) applications next season. Hot water treatment will also provide control. HDC fact sheet 10/13 suggests dormant bulbs can be dipped for three hours at 44.4 degsC. Herbaceous perennials need a shorter time - no more than one hour.
Vine weevil Nemasys L will provide good larvae control down to temperatures of 5 degsC. Apply to protected crops and plants exposed to egg-laying that have had no compost-incorporated control product this season. Nematodes can be more effective than insecticide drenches in large tree containers, especially where pests are active around plant cores.
Soil sampling Take soil samples for analysis by walking the field in a "W" pattern. Start away from gateways and avoid any past lime or manure heaps. Make accurate planning of next year's fertiliser programme and apply only the nutrients needed by the crop in line with NVZ and Catchment Sensitive Farming legislation. Check phosphate levels on your results. These can remain at high levels for many years - locked up in soils - and cause suppressed growth and prevent crops from accessing trace elements such as iron. Remember also to test for plant parasitic nematodes (especially potato cyst) and Verticillium wilt on new fields and fields that will be handed back in 2015. Check that herbicides used will not affect any following agricultural crops.
Conifers Remember to spray against needle cast on Abies, Picea and Thuja. Apply Bravo 500 (EAMU 2011-1130), Octave, Serenade ASO (EAMUs required), Signum (EAMU 2012-2141) or Switch.
Aphids & whitefly These pests are still currently active on protected crops. Clean up with contact-acting products such as Majestik, Pyrethrum 5EC, Savona, SB Plant Invigorator or Spruzit.
Spraying Be sure to get at least one fungicide spray onto stock in tunnels this month using Rovral WG (EAMU 2011-3200), Signum (EAMU 2012-2141) Switch or Octave. Use wetting agents for plants with hairy foliage.
John Adlam, Managing director, Dove Associates, HorticultureWeek.co.uk/nursery