31 March - Nutritional top-ups

Top dressing - Wait for at least three weeks after a fertiliser application before applying any herbicides to avoid destroying the herbicide layer. Stock plants will benefit from a nutritional top-up.

Liverwort - Clean up liverwort on cleared outdoor growing beds with Venzar Flowable. Projects carried out by AHDB Horticulture have shown that Chikara and Springbok (EAMUs required) applied to non-cropped areas will also provide some control effect. Mogeton (EAMU 2015-2273) is also available, as is sodium bicarbonate applied as a powder at the rate of 122kg per hectare.

Moles - Control adults before they breed and have young. Trapping is the common control but needs skill and care. Gas tablets also work well but staff need to be trained and qualified to apply them. See www.ramps-uk.org.

Pesticides - Check that any alternatives offered to you by your pesticide suppliers are approved for use in ornamental plant production. This may require an EAMU so check before you buy. Pitfalls include using Plenum WG instead of Chess WG where only Chess WG has an ornamentals approval using an EAMU.

Gleditsia pea gall - Apply Gazelle SG or Hallmark WZT (EAMU 2008-2844) as leaves start to emerge to prevent midge egg-laying inside new buds.

Health and safety - Check your health and safety policy statement now for all the hazards on your site and bring it up to date. You should regularly review your policy statement to ensure that all new hazards are included. Check that your staff who carry out pesticide applications are suitably trained and certificated.

Root rots - Some crops are prone to Pythium, Phytophthora and Fusarium so keep them on the drier side. Drench affected plants, within their irrigation regime, with Fenomenal, Previcur Energy (EAMU 2011-1557) or Subdue depending on temperatures. T34 Biocontrol (EAMUs required) and Trianum P can also be used if temperatures are high enough on protected crops.

Eelworm - Apply Vydate 10G (EAMUs required) or Movento (EAMU 2011-1987) to previously affected abelia, anemone, Brunnera, buddleia, hellebore and weigela crops. Trial Vydate 10G on a small number of plants first to check for phytotoxicity. Movento will not provide total control.

Leaf crinkle - Cold nights and warm days can affect large-leaved shrubs and some herbaceous crops. Although it is purely cosmetic, leaf crinkle can harm sales. Vent protected structures on warmer days and fleece vulnerable crops at night to reduce extreme fluctuations between day and night temperatures.


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