16 September - Mix your own rooting hormone

Rooting hormone With the loss of Synergol, consider mixing your own equivalent product using one tablet of Rhizopon AA (50mg) to two tablets of Rhizopon B (25mg) per litre of water.

Botrytis Add a wetting agent to Rovral WG, Scala (SOLA 2011-1315), Scotts Octave, Serenade ASO (SOLA 2009-0246), Signum (SOLA 2009-1842) or Switch for good foliage penetration. Amistar (SOLA 2009-0443) is also available but a wetting agent should not be added to it. Get ventilation fans running now to prevent still air in tunnels and glasshouses. Keep doors and roof vents open for as long as possible.

Shading Checks should be made every day now to ensure that as much useful light is available to newly-potted crops as we enter the autumn months.

Aphids Check newly-emerging foliage of Brachyglottis, euonymus, hebe, lonicera, roses, autumn bedding and herbaceous. Encourage natural predators by using products such as Aphox, Chess WG (SOLA 2008-2834), Majestik, Savona or SB Plant Invigorator.

Container weeds Patchy weed control on crops grown on capillary systems is usually due to dry pot surfaces. Top them up with Flexidor 125 this autumn.

Phytophthora Drench conifers now, particularly the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana types, against Phytophthora infections. Products available include Aliette 80WG, Filex/Proplant, Prestop, Previcur Energy (SOLAs required), Standon Fullstop or Subdue. Revive, Subdue or Trianum P can also be added to growing media at potting.

Western flower thrip Blue roller traps are good for end-of-season monitoring/control in glasshouses or tunnels containing vulnerable crops such as clematis or Passiflora. The roll needs to be warm to soften the glue. Set up two lengths of string or twine, tie to available posts and attach the trap with clips to keep it straight. Keep applying Amblyseius cucumeris in frost-free glasshouses through the winter months.

Gapping-up If biological control is being used under protection, then gap-up any crops that have been picked through for sales. Moving them closer will help predators transfer from plant to plant. Reduce existing pest populations by applying products such as SB Plant Invigorator, 24 hours before re-introducing predators.

Managing director, Dove Associates

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