Vine weevil Pupa and larvae have overwintered in composts and soils but low temperatures should limit activity. Nemasys L needs unfrozen, moist composts or soils above 5 degsC to work well. Alternatively, chlorpyrifos (non-IPM) can be drenched into containers or onto field-grown crops, avoiding frost. Only use compost-incorporated products containing imidacloprid in accordance with revised product labelling.
Leaf spots At this time of year, products such as Octave or Switch can be applied to protected crops to control fungal leaf spots.
Root death Check root condition before despatching early crops.
Moles Control adults before they breed and have young. Trapping is the common method but needs skill and care. Gas tablets work well too but staff need to be trained and qualified to apply them. See www.ramps-uk.org.
Liverwort Clean up liverwort on cleared outdoor growing beds with Venzar Flowable or products containing metazachlor. Work by the HDC has shown that Chikara and Springbok are useful products and can be applied to non-cropped areas.
Frost protection Consider trialling Compo Frost Protect or Cropaid on selected crops in an effort to prevent frost damage on flower buds and other vulnerable growth.
Bacteria Start spraying against bacterial infections and peach leaf curl using copper oxychloride. Good control is usually achieved by spraying before leaf emergence on ornamental Prunus spp. as well as peaches, apricots, almonds and nectarines. Some crops will require an off-label approval.
Damping off In damp, cool conditions, watch for seedlings and young plants damping off. Prevent infections by applying Proplant (EAMU 2012-3100), Prestop (not on unrooted cuttings) or Serenade ASO (EAMUs required). Control active infections using Amistar (EAMU 2009-0443) or Basilex.
Rust Check Mahonia 'Apollo' and Bellis and spray Nimrod, Signum (EAMU 2012-2141) or Systhane 20EW if seen. Do not spray if a frost is predicted that night.
Powdery mildew Check ornamental grasses in protected structures for infections. Apply Systhane 20EW if seen.
John Adlam, Managing director, Dove Associates, HorticultureWeek.co.uk/nursery