Wearing gloves - There have been changes in the way that products are to be approved for ornamental plant production where previously the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) assumed that workers' hands were bare when re-entering a treated crop. This has now been changed and products will be assessed assuming the use of gloves is standard. More information can be found online at www.pesticides.gov.uk.
Planning - Ensure that Replant disease is not an issue when planning where to put stock in fields that are going to be used in a rotation.
Conifers - Once Picea are dormant, consider applying Roundup over crops to control perennial weeds growing around them.
Feeds - On older crops, check compost and water conductivity now and again in March to check nutrient availability. Plants may need a top dressing or liquid-feed boost going into the spring months depending on the type of slow-release fertiliser used in composts.
Pesticides - Ensure that the products you are sold have got an approval for ornamental plant production or forest nursery depending on the sector for which you grow. Note that some active ingredients are still being assessed so some products can still be used without an ornamentals approval until they have been assessed by the CRD - such as Apollo 50SC, Dursban WG and Sequel. Where specific active ingredients have been assessed, only a few have got ornamental EAMUs - Chess WG for ornamentals and Plenum WG for forest nurseries.
Whitefly - Control overwintering pests using contact-acting products including Agri-50E, Decis, Eradicoat, Majestik, SB Plant Invigorator, Hallmark WZT (EAMU 2008-2944), Pyrethrum 5EC, Savona, Spruzit or Toppel 100 (EAMU 2013-2410). Avoid frost before, during and after applications. Do not use synthetic pyrethroids after January to avoid interference with your integrated pest management programmes.
Root rots - Root and stem rotting can be an issue during the winter months. Some crops are prone to Pythium, Phytophthora and Fusarium so keep them on the drier side this winter. Drench affected plants, within their irrigation regime, with Fenomenal, Previcur Energy (EAMU 2011-1557) or Subdue depending on temperatures. T34 Biocontrol (EAMU 2012-1118) and Trianum P can also be used if temperatures are high enough on protected crops.