18 September - Root rot defences

Root rotting Drench plants suffering from Pythium or Phytophthora infections with Fenomenal, Previcur Energy (EAMU 211-1157) or Subdue. First signs are patchy dieback or sudden plant collapse. Plant Trust incorporated at potting will provide a slow release of fosetyl-aluminium. Biologically active products include Prestop, T34 Biocontrol (EAMU 2012-1118) or Trianum P. Long periods of wet compost encourage root rot disease attack.

Root aphid Control in ornamental Ribes and pines outdoors with drenches of Dursban WG. Under protection, Calypso (EAMU 2014-2153) can be used but only on plants that are not dormant. Keep compost moist for products to work effectively for longer.

Stem cankers Avoid lifting vulnerable trees in leaf because this can lead to stem cankers. Apply Synthron EDTA Cu 9.1 per cent two weeks before lifting. Use a transport system that keeps stem damage to a minimum and always keep root systems moist.

Pruning Avoid trimming plants that flower through the late autumn/early winter such as Cornus mas, Callicarpa, Hamamelis, Lonicera 'Winter Beauty', mahonia, skimmia and Viburnum tinus.

EAMU update: Several products have been issued with new extension of authorisation for minor use (EAMU) numbers and others have been updated but retain the same code. Check the Chemicals Regulation Directorate website - https://secure.pesticides.gov.uk/pestreg/ProdSearch.asp - and download the latest versions to keep your records up to date.

Bed watering Automatic irrigation systems can produce an uneven output - check crops along bed edges and pathways for drought. Keep different compost types and pot sizes separate wherever possible.

Rats As well as damaging container-grown plants they are also a hazard as carriers of Weil's disease. This is particularly important should your nursery be near cereal crops that have recently been harvested. Check your bait boxes and change the bait's active ingredient each time you reorder from your supplier.

Mites Apply Dursban WG or Sequel to Fraxinus to control late summer rust mites and spider mite populations before they overwinter. Apply one of these products to Alnus and Tilia, which can also suffer from a number of different damaging mites.

Spraying windows Unsettled weather makes it hard to spray regularly. Add an adjuvant into your tank - be sure to check pesticide labels first - to increase the time that products remain on your crops.

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