Ditches & drains A blustery, wet autumn can blow pots and other rubbish into ditches, blocking pipelines under roadways and resulting in flooding. Check all ditches periodically.
Mites Make sure that you have applied Apollo 50SC onto crops attacked by spider mites this season. An EAMU (2001-2271) is required for protected crops.
Ventilation Get tunnel and glasshouse doors and vents open on days when weather permits to reduce the risk of Botrytis. Overnight humidity levels can increase to 100 per cent in closed tunnels so changing the air is important.
Leaf fall Avoid stem cankers by applying Synthron EDTA Cu 9.1 per cent at least two weeks before lifting to de-leaf plants.
Spraying Get at least one fungicide spray onto stock in tunnels this month using Signum (EAMU 2012-2141) Switch or Octave.
Thrips Apply Amblyseius cucumeris predators through the winter months in frost-free structures to keep pest levels down.
Pruning When you cut back leftover plants, do not be tempted to lightly trim them because this will produce a leggy plant in the spring. Check the conductivity of the compost and make sure that plants have adequate vine weevil control.
Stored growing media If you are using compost that has been stored, do check the conductivity to avoid unnecessary root damage at potting and ensure it will provide a good flush through afterwards. High conductivity in the substrate may mean there is little left in the prills.
Rust This disease is still active. Check euphorbia, heuchera and hypericum and control before plants defoliate using Amistar (EAMU 2009-0443), Bumper 250EC (EAMU 2009-0707) or Signum (EAMU 2012-2141). Clear up fallen leaves.
Heaters Winter-grade oil should be put in heaters, especially if diesel oil (35 second) is being used. This will prevent fuel gelling. Premium-grade paraffin in direct-fired paraffin heaters (28 second) will help prevent leaf scorch from combustion.
Needle cast Focus sprays on thuja and others using Bravo 500 (EAMU 2011-1130, outdoor crops only), Octave, Serenade ASO (EAMUs required), Signum (EAMU 2012-2141) or Switch. Spray if humid conditions are predicted.
John Adlam, Managing director, Dove Associates, HorticultureWeek.co.uk/nursery